GA 16, the main Scenic Byway route through Putnam and Hancock Counties, follows the approximate route of an early trail utilized possibly thousands of years ago by prehistoric peoples.
The prehistoric trail was a major ?highway? through the Southeast that ultimately connected what is now Charleston, SC with the Mississippi River and was know as the Okfuskee Trail because one of the Upper Creek central towns was Okfuskee Town on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. In 1540 when Hernando De Soto and his Spanish conquistadors entered the Oconee River Valley, they crossed this Indian trail near the historic Shoulderbone Mounds of Hancock County.
In the seventeenth century as the English established the colony of Carolina, Native-Americans carried deer pelts through Putnam and Hancock Counties along the route of today?s Georgia 16. The trail was mentioned in William Bartram?s journals and became the historic colonial Upper Trading Path. The other roads in the Historic Piedmont date back to Revolutionary War times.