About the Chisholm Trail in Texas

Image: National Park Service

About the Chisholm Trail in Texas

Historians have long debated aspects of the Chisholm Trail’s history, including the exact route and even its name. Although they may not agree on the specifics, most would not argue that the 20 years of cattle drives was one of the most colorful periods of Texas history. The purpose of this tour is not to resolve these debates, but rather to help travelers explore the history and lore associated with the legendary cattle-driving route.

We hope you find the controversy part of the intrigue, while you investigate the historic sites, museums and attractions to reach your own conclusions.

The Chisholm Trail in Texas History

1835-36        
The Texas Revolution
1845             
The United States annexes Texas as the 28th state
1861-65        
The American Civil War
1867             
Joseph G. McCoy establishes a cattle-shipping terminal in Abilene, Kansas.
1871             
Approximately 700,000 cattle reach the Kansas railhead.
1880-89        
The Chisholm trail era draws to a close during the 1880s.