About the Chisholm Trail in Texas

Map showing cattle trails winding through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas
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

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