Where Did the Oregon Trail Start?

According to an act of Congress, it begins in Independence, Missouri, and ends in Oregon City, Oregon. To the settlers, though, the trail to the Oregon Country was a five-month trip from their old home in the East to their new home in the West. It was different for every family. Some people got ready to leave the East, or ‘jump off’ as they called it, in towns like St. Joseph or Council Bluffs, and others jumped off from their old homes in Illinois or Missouri and picked up the Oregon Trail in the countryside. Along the way, they could choose to take shortcuts or stick to the main trunk of the Trail, and the end of their journey didn’t really come until they settled a claim somewhere in the vast Oregon Country.