This is a very intriguing question, I think this would be the basis for a lengthy book. I have about 5 justified answers that have solid ground. The first of these answers would be:
"along a waterway," this answer is the simple answer, towns and cities were built along waterways.
However, this answer would not justify the question.
- By Boat or Flat skid
- By Horse and Carriage.
- By Stagecoach
- By Boat
- By Railroad
Early experimental railroads
1720: A railroad is reportedly used in the construction of the French fortress at Louisburg, Nova Scotia.
1764: Between 1762 and 1764 a gravity railroad (Montresor's Tramway) is built by British military engineers at the Niagara Portage in Lewiston, New York.
1795: A wooden railway on Beacon Hill in Boston carries excavations down the hill to clear the land for the State House.
1799: Boston developers begin to reduce the height of Mount Vernon, prior to building streets and homes. Silas Whitney constructs a gravity railroad to move excavated material down the hill to fill marshy areas to create new land from the Back Bay.
1809: In September an experimental railroad is built next to a Philadelphia tavern by a millwright named Somerville. The track, built for Thomas Leiper, has a grade of 1-1/2 inch to the yard (1 : 24 or about 4%) over its total length of 60 yards (54.9 m) and proves satisfactory when tested with a loaded car.
The incline section of the Granite Railway, photograph taken in 1934.
1810: The Leiper Railroad, designed and built by merchant Thomas Leiper, connecting Crum Creek to Ridley Creek, Pennsylvania opens. It is used until 1829 when it is replaced by the Leiper Canal, but replaces the canal again in 1852. This became the Crum Creek Branch of the Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad (part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad) in 1887. This is the first railroad meant to be permanent, and the first to evolve into a common carrier after an intervening closure. See the 1826 Granite Railway (pictured) for comparison.
1811: George Magers designs and builds a 1-mile (1.6 km) wooden gravity railroad between a gunpowder mill and its powder storage bunker at Falling's Creek, Virginia.
1815: New Jersey grants a charter on February 6, 1815 for a company to "erect a rail-road from the river Delaware near Trenton, to the river Raritan, at or near New Brunswick", as proposed by John Stevens (1749-1838). This is the New Jersey Railroad Company and is the first railroad chartered in the United States, however it is never built due to an inability to attract financial investors.
1816: A railroad is reportedly used at Kiskiminetas Creek, Pennsylvania.
1818: An iron-smelting furnace at Bear Creek, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania reportedly has a wooden railroad in operation.
Dunbar, Seymour. A History of Travel in America. Dunbar. (p. 880.)
First Railway (Tramway) Built in America, Lewiston, NY, 1764
American Railroads; Their Growth and Development by Association of American Railroads (Washington DC, 1956)
Library of Congress - History of Railroads and Maps
Railroad History Database
 National Railway Historical Society (NRHS): Historical Almanac of American Railroads - US, Canada, Mexico
William D. Middleton, Where is America's oldest railroad tunnel?, Trains May 2002
First Permanent Railroad In The U. S. And Its Connection To The University Of Pennsylvania (Leiper Railroad)
The First Railroad in America 1826-1926: A History of the Origin and Development of the Granite Railway at Quincy, Massachusetts
I'm going with all of them, I don't see why they wouldn't have used any necessary means of travel. The railways were built along these waterways to replenish their boilers. This makes a strong case as to migratory patterns in general.