"The Old Silver Trail"
In 1880 Alexander Shepard was thrown out of office and purchased a silver mine around Batopilas. Over the next 26 years, Shepard's mine exported 27 million ounces of pure silver. Shepard constructed a full processing mill so pure silver could be hauled out. He built a aqueduct to furnish water and a hydroelectric plant, making Batopilas the second city in Mexico to have electricity.
The 'Silver Mining Trail' was upgraded so mule trains could carry processed silver bars to the outside world. These huge "conductas" consisted of up to 100 mules with armed guards and wranglers traveling the 140 mile route to the nearest stagecoach stop. The trail was replaced by a shorter route when the railroad reached Creel in the late 1920’s. Since then, the trail has slipped into a state of disrepair and remains in use as a footpath by the indigenous Tarahuamara who live throughout the vast roadless area.