Indian Roads, Trails, and Paths
Before Georgia had roads, it was laced with Indian trails or paths. These trails served the needs of
Georgia's native populations by connecting their villages with one another and allowing them to travel
great distances in quest of game, fish, shellfish, and pearls, as well as such mineral resources as salt, flint,
pipestone, steatite, hematite, and ochre. Many groups followed an annual economic cycle that saw them
undertake seasonal migrations in pursuit of plants and animals needed for their existence. Travel for
war
making
was also dependent on trails leading to the homelands of hostile groups. To take to the warpath
had more than metaphorical meaning to Georgia's Indians.
There is abundant evidence indicating that some of the trails used by the early Indians of Georgia were
already formed by large grazing animals, particularly buffalo.
                                                  THE NEW GEORGIA ENCYCLOPEDIA
                                
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-790
January 25th 1827 Survey
Carroll Co., GA District 14 (now Heard Co.)
Note red arrows pointing to Indian houses
Indian Trails and Houses drawn on current day map.
Courtesy Jim Preston, Surveyor
Indian House, Field, and McIntosh Road transferred to Google Earth.
The Indian House was probably one of Chief McIntosh's "Road" houses.
The Indian Field was used to grow crops to feed the guests.
E. J. Lanham
Surveyors notes 1821 Fayette Co.,
District 6. Note Indian House,
McIntosh Road, and Indian Fields
Original 1821 Survey, District 4 Henry
Co., now Fayette and Spalding
counties. Note McIntosh Road
highlighted in red.
Remains of the McIntosh Road,
Fayette Co., GA., private property.
E. J. Lanham
Indian Village noted on
Lee County District 33,
11-23-1826
Indian Villages and Historical Sites Central Georgia, in a
section of the Flint River overlaid on Google Earth.
E. J. Lanham
All Rights Reserved
Please ask for permission to copy
ejldixie@gmail.com
                                                              Types of Indian Routes
Indian Roads: Most pathways that were labeled "Roads" were major routes that in the early
1800s had been widened for wagon use. Sometimes marked with a double dashed line.
Indian Trails: Normally these pathways labeled "Trails" were major routes that had not been
widened for wagon use.
Indian Paths: Normally these pathways labeled "Paths" were secondary routes.
 
In the earliest days they were also mentioned as tracks, tracts, and runs.

Indian Roads/Trails/ Paths can be divided into several categories. Most of them were
existing trails made by buffalo, elk, and deer.
1. Connecting the “Mother” town with its satellite villages.
2. Connection smaller towns and villages.
3. Connection of trading routes.
4. Connection between tribes.
5. Connection to trading with the whites. (British, Americans, Spanish, and French)

There were numerous spur routes or detours on these early Indian trails. The spurs were
used during inclement weather where mud and flooding streams dictated alternate
routes. The McIntosh Road had a spur route in current day Peachtree City at Line Creek.

To read about the history of Georgia's system of roads by the master authority Dr. John
Goff:
Travel on the Primitive Ways
Plat showing Land lot 51 and 52 District 4 Henry Co., GA. (now Fayette Co). Note
McIntosh Road is marked with a double dashed line.