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OST better than florida 98?

Started by rebar, April 13, 2013, 08:57:09 AM

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 I'm driving from Melbourne Fl to Iowa and have decided to drive the coasts. I was told in order to really to see and taste old Florida, I should consider driving the Old Spanish Trail.  Sounds intriguing, but its route takes me away from the ocean and would take allot longer to drive.

Can anyone recommend must see sections of the OST from Florida to Louisiana please? Or must eat at places?
I'll then follow the Mississippi north to New Madrid MO and on to Iowa.



Welcome to the forum.

I would recommend looking at John Murphey's website. He no longer maintains it, but he's still active in promoting the OST. His email is on the bottom of the home page. Look at the pages for the states you want to drive. He can likely tell you about some interesting hotels along the way.
Drive the OST

If you look at my virtual road trips and the galleries (like the one you linked to), that will also show you some interesting places to see. Keep in mind that the Gulf Coast area of the OST changed a lot during just a few years due to reroutings as bridges were built, replacing ferries.
Florida road trip, Florida gallery
Alabama road trip, Alabama gallery
Mississippi road trip, Mississippi gallery
Louisiana road trip, Louisiana gallery

If you do take the OST, I'd recommend trying to follow the Mississippi River Scenic Highway (MRSH) north to Iowa. This is one of the old auto trails on my To Do list. It dates to 1919. As far as I know, nobody has researched this route, but I could provide maps of the general route if you want to explore. It had several branches in the south, so you could leave the OST at Mobile, AL and follow the branch northwest to Clarksdale and Coahoma, Mississippi (to meet the main trail), or you could follow the OST all the way to New Orleans and follow the main path of the MRSH north to eastern Iowa.

An auto trail called the Glacier Trail originally linked Glacier National Park in Montana with St. Louis. This highway was theoretically extended west to Washington State and southeast to the east Florida coast. I have one single map showing this longer version of the trail. It seems to be following the much more documented Bee Line Highway, which branched off the OST in Cottondale, FL, and went up through Alabama to Birmingham. There were then two branches, an east and a west, that both went to St. Louis to connect with the original route. The highway goes northwest in Missouri to head northwards in Iowa through Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Grinnell, Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, and Mason City to Minnesota.
Here's a short web site from Iowa DOT about this trail.


Wow thanks Parsa.

Everything you've shown me looks interesting but unfortunately I only have 5 days Melbourne Fl to Iowa. I need to pick maybe ten points of interest, and visit them from the highway or interstate instead of driving the entire route.  One of them being the new Madrid seismic zone. Fascinating knowing the Mississippi flowed backwards there.

Another interest of mine are the conquistador's who explored this region.

So Iv got some research and picking to do since I leave the 16th..