A Guide to the Western Trail of OK
The Western Trail, sometimes referred to as the Big Blue Trail or the Rooster Rock Trail is a beautiful trail that begins at Rooster Rock Park, follows the crest of the Green Mountains, and then begins its route through the forest in the north and then returns westward to the parking lot at the dam near Marblemook. The park was designed by the American Red Cross and opened for public use in 1923. It was created to provide safe passage for cattle and horse traffic between the historic mining towns of the Great Depression and the transcontinental railroad.
The Great Western Cattle Trail has played an important role in the preservation of natural resources in the area. The trail has been repeatedly preserved by the local, state and federal governments. In addition, the National Park Service has jurisdiction over the entire structure of the trail, including signage, safety guidelines and guided tours. The trail also provides a means for recreation for the local ranchers and other visitors. A guided tour of the trail will allow you to see first hand the variety and quantity of wildlife in the park.
The western trail system begins in Dodge City, Texas. The Green Mountain College campus is about a three hour drive from the town. The Green Mountain College campus is in a state park and it is within the boundaries of the Park Service’s Fort Bowie/ Lloret de Muntarral National Park. This location is on the banks of the Green Mountain River which means that there are a variety of species of migratory birds that visit the grounds including, but not limited to: squirrels, ground dove, towhees, and a number of songbirds such as chickadees, towhees, waterfowl and an abundance of song bird species. There are also a variety of different insects and spiders, which are found in abundance in the mountains surrounding Fort Bowie and Lloret de Marral National Parks. Some of the most common insects you will find are the crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, and ants.
The second section of the Western Trail is located near present day Kerrville. The cities of Kerrville and San Antonio lie on the banks of the Rio Grande. This area of the San Antonio/Kerrville Texas Road and State Highway 20 is the site of one of the first organized cattle drives in the history of Texas. Many of the early settlers started out raising cattle on what is now known as the San Antonio/Kerrville National Historic Landmark Landscape. Today you can visit the land which was used as a picnic and a place to raise cattle.
The third section of the trail begins in the town of El Paso. This is the starting point for anyone visiting the famous San Antonio northward trek. The City of El Paso sits on the southwest bank of the Rio Grande. It is also the starting point for all of the historical and cultural attractions surrounding the City of El Paso. Nearby you will find the historic site of Presidio Park. This area of the city is home to numerous historic landmarks and museums.
Finally, the fourth segment of the San Antonio/OKlahoma Trail begins at Fort Bowie. Fort Bowie is one of the premiere tourist destinations in the Oklahoma panhandle and is the location where the Wright Brothers piloted the originalairship. Today you can still see the original airfield that served as a training base for the Wright Brothers. The Chisholm Trail makes traveling the western trail of OK state very easy and very enjoyable.