The Great Western Trail was built to move cattle and horses to markets in the eastern and northern states. Today, you can still see portions of this historic trail, as well as the ruins of many other historic trails. The western trail is an important piece of American history. It’s important to understand the history of this trail and the people who used it. It is also a great place to view some of our nation’s most renowned landmarks.
The Great Western Trail first served cattlemen in the early 1890s. Cattle drovers used this trail to move cattle from Dodge City, Kansas, to the markets in Nebraska, Montana, the Dakotas, and Canada. By 1893, more than six million cattle and one million horses were in the process of traveling northward. The town of Dodge City was known as the “cowboy capital of the world” and other communities along the trail provided transportation and trading services for the cattle. Other important towns along the trail included Fort Worth and Amarillo. In addition, Doan’s Crossing and Buffalo Gap served as important stops along the trail.
The Western Trail also known as the Dodge City Trail began in the hill country near Kerrville and crossed the Llano River near Brady before reaching the Clear Fork of the Brazos near Fort Griffin. Eventually, the trail reached the Red River in Vernon. In 1878, Corwin Doan established a trading post on the Red River and kept a detailed account of the cattle and herds that were moving north. In 1881, he recorded 300,000 longhorns passing by his trading post, which became known as Doan’s Crossing.
In 1884, the Western Trail passed through Coleman, Nebraska. It then fanned out to the grassy prairies of the Llano Estacado. North of Albany, the Potter-Blocker Trail split and reunited. The Western Trail then crossed the Clear Fork of Brazos and crossed the Butterfield-Military Road. After that, it joined the Buffalo Gap feeder trail.
After the Civil War, Texans became cash-starved and began relying on longhorn cows. The cows were difficult to trail, especially in Indian Territory. The trail boss would rarely provide seven or eight head of cattle to the natives. Instead, he would give them three to four stragglers from previous drives.
When choosing a horse for Western Trail, you should look for the one that is capable, confident, and versatile. A horse with the right qualities will make your trip a pleasure. You will find that riding a horse on the trail is as much about horsemanship as it is about dressage and reining.
The Great Western Trail is one of the most popular recreational trails in the region. It runs through Kane and DuPage counties. During its 14-mile run, it passes through some of the most beautiful original prairie remnants in the area. A new extension project will soon connect the trail to the Sycamore Park District.