During Colonial times in New York, people walked, rode horses or used stagecoaches for land journeys, but traveling by boat was much faster, especially for merchants hauling heavy goods like grain. Some roads in New York and other cities were paved with cobblestones, but many were dirt or gravel.
In the early 1700s, the colonial governor of New York, Robert Hunter, had many hills flattened to make them easier to walk and ride on. He also lined many city streets with trees. However, the Erie Canal and the railroads were not built until the 1800s. Bridges were rare, so people crossed rivers and streams by swimming or wading across. Rafts were used to transport stagecoaches across bodies of water.