In the 1600s, Spanish Florida's Royal Road connected St. Augustine with the missions of North Florida.
From the time St. Augustine was established in 1565, Spanish military and religious authorities began extending their reach beyond the town limits. They developed various modes of transportation between their widely dispersed settlements, which eventually included missions, forts, and ranches.
In the 1680s, Florida Governor Diego de Quiroga Losada contracted the services of military engineer Enrique Primo de Rivera to build a formal road across north Florida that was suitable for oxcarts.
Although the project was never finished, people and goods continued to flow to and from the capital at St. Augustine, along the main corridor known as the Camino Real.
The missions connected by the camino served as way-stations for travelers. Christianized Indians were responsible for transporting most of the goods and animals overland, and they provided ferry service across the rivers. The trip from St. Augustine to Aplalachee Province, near present-day Tallahassee, could take anywhere from four days in the winter to over a month in the rainy season when the rivers were high and the pinelands flooded.
Today there are very few remnants of the original Spanish road visible in our state. Our best evidence of the camino comes from historic
documents combined with mission archaeology to verify the locations of missions along the route.