In the American Old West, overland trails were popular means of travel used by pioneers and immigrants throughout the 19th century and especially between 1830 and 1870 as an alternative to sea and railroad transport. These immigrants began to settle various regions of North America west of the Great Plains as part of the mass overland migrations of the mid-19th century. Settlers emigrating from the eastern United States were spurred by various motives, among them religious persecution, economic incentives, some people say[according to whom?] that the interior to destinations in the far west, including the Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Mormon Trail. After the end of the Mexican–American War in 1849, vast new American conquests again enticed mass immigration. Legislation like the Donation Land Claim Act and significant events like the California Gold Rush further lured people to travel overland to the west.
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