The Western Trail follows a section of the Trans-Texas Trail, one of the longest continuous trails in the country. The route passes through seven mountain counties and wildlife refuges in addition to historic and tourist attractions. A portion of the trail also goes through the lower portions of the Pine Creek Watershed in Collierville and Irvin. There are also portions of the trail that remain in the historic district of Waverly and Pampa.
The Western Trail has many sections. Most of the trail follows the old State Highway 41 and has many large road bridges. Traveling this route allows for a greater variety of wildlife encounters, as well as viewing the abundant Texas flora and fauna. Along the way there are also several large springs, lakes, numerous canyons and riverbeds. To complete your experience you should consider enrolling in a western trail class.
The main trail traverses the width of the two dozen mile long Western Trail. The trail passes through beautiful campgrounds and several cottages that are the resting places of some of the pioneers who made the trek. At some point the trail crosses a bridge over Landa Creek where historic structures mark the path of the trail. Some of these structures include Old Town Square, Old Fort Coffee House, Tom Brown House and Rose Island.
Just past Tom Brown’s Texas Ranch, you will come across Seven Mile Lake which is the boundary of Texas. The view from this lake is spectacular with panoramic mountains in the background. A panoramic road passing by Fort Bowie offers some excellent views of the area. Just past this you will pass another historic landmark – Fort Bowie Historical Park. Fort Bowie served as the headquarters for the Texas National Guard during the Civil War. There is a interpretive center where you can learn more about the history of the fort.
Moving down the trail toward Landa Falls, you will cross another historic site known as the Landa Mansion. This amazing mansion was the home of wealthy ranchers and was constructed in 1854. Today this location is recognized as the park’s Preserve Land. The western trail then comes to the Landa Creek which marks the beginning of the Caddo River drainage system. Caddo Lake was originally a part of the Louisiana Purchase and the area was one of the favorite hideouts for Indians, cowboy boots and large Texas cattle.
After passing beneath the imposing red and white spires of the historic Spanish mission and the beautiful oak trees you will come to another historic area called the San Antonio Road. This area includes the San Antonio Missions Historic Park and the Historic East Side Park. The trail continues to the La Jolla Cove, where you will be able to see the well preserved shoreline. Further on the trail passes through Rancho Velavieja which has beautiful views of the ocean and La Jolla Shores which features lush citrus trees. The trail finally ends at the Park’s entrance which is the conclusion of your journey on the west coast of the state of Texas.