Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chisholm and Great Western Trails

The National Park Service hosted a meeting this week in Wichita to discuss the possibility of designating the Chisholm Trail and the Great Western Cattle Trail as national historic trails.

The Chisholm and Great Western Trails were used by cowboys and ranchers in the late 1800s to drive cattle from Texas through Oklahoma to railroad heads in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota. The trails passed through Dodge City, Caldwell, Wichita, Newton, Abilene and other Kansas communities and were vital economic bloodlines in developing those parts of our state.

The National Trails System provides for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourages public access and citizen involvement. Designating the Chisholm and Great Western Trails as part of this System might prove to be a great boost to the Kansas economy.

Below are newspaper articles, information on the public law requiring a study of developing these historic trails and general information on the trails themselves:


"Park service to host meeting about Chisholm Trail"
Wichita Eagle, June 24, 2010

"Kansas cattle trails could become historic sites"
Lawrence Journal-World, June 24, 2010

"Ceremony celebrates trail's role in shaping Dodge City's history"
Dodge City Daily Globe, June 14, 2010

U.S. PUBLIC LAW 90-543

The National Trails System Act
(P.L. 90-543, as amended through P.L. 111-11, March 30, 2009)
This is the public law which includes mention of a study of the inclusion of these two trails in the US Trail System. Check out 16 USC 1244, sec. 5(c)... (44) and (45) respectively for mention of the Chisholm and Great Western trails)

Activation Memo
P.L. 111-11, Title V, Subtitle D, Sec. 5303, Chisholm Trail & Great Western Trail
(Provides for studies of the Chisholm Trail and Great Western Trail to determine whether to add the trails to the National Trails System, and for other purposes)


The Chisholm Trail, by John Rossel

Along the Chisholm Trail


Great Western Cattle Trail

Great Western Cattle Trail Association


Forts & Trails
(Kansas State Historical Society)

Kansas Historic Trails

Historic trails and roads in Kansas


National Trails System
(National Parks Service)

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