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Historic Trails

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The song of the open trail can be heard loud and clear in Texas. When you retrace the El Camino Real of the Spanish or the cattle drives of ranchers, the pageant that is the history of Texas comes to life. Here are some of the state’s most famous trails, including new “trail regions” that highlight different regions and aspects of Texas history. But don’t worry, it’s not all one big history lesson: photo-ops, oversized steaks, shopping, and more are always part of the fun of exploring Texas.
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302 N Esplanade St, Cuero, TX 77954, USA
Texas ranchers were sending their cattle back east before the Civil War, but the great cattle trails emerged after Gulf Coast ports were blockaded by the Union. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Chisholm Trail established just after the war....
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114 Fort Cir, Newcastle, TX 76372, USA
This trail to move Texas Longhorns began near Fort Belknap, established in 1851 as one of a series of forts to protect settlers in Texas. While heading from north Texas to Denver was a treacherous route with the dangers of Indian attacks,...
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601 Main St, Bandera, TX 78003, USA
Also referred to as the Dodge City Trail, the Old Texas Trail and the Western Trail, the Great Western Cattle Trail commenced in the small Texas town of Bandera, northwest of San Antonio, and continued northward through Abilene in West Texas, and...
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1428 Young St, Dallas, TX 75202, USA
Amongst the buildings and cityscape, rests a group of gentle, metal, giants frozen in time. When you're driving through Dallas, you don't expect to catch a glimpse of about fifty massive cow statues, but that's exactly what you'll find. Located...
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110 S Main St, Lockhart, TX 78644, USA
Trails aren’t just for cowboys. Texas’s 10-region Heritage Trails Program provides introductions to some of the state’s historic treasures. The Brazos Trail comprises 18 counties in central Texas and includes notable cities such as Bryan/College...
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5550 Jimmy Simmons Blvd, Beaumont, TX 77705, USA
Covering 35 counties throughout East Texas, the Forest Trail includes five state forests, a National Preserve, and the largest cypress grove in the world. Often called the “Gateway to Texas,” those who passed through here include Spanish and...
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907 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, USA
The Hill Country of Texas is known for its lush, rolling hills and spring-fed lakes and rivers. The natural wealth of the region was first recognized by Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers who roamed the region, and they were followed, much later, by...
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3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, TX 77571, USA
Located about 30 minutes from downtown Houston in La Porte, this site is sure to fascinate any Texas history buff. Start at the San Jacinto Museum of History, which is located in the base of the San Jacinto Monument and covers more than 400 years...
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1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043, USA
In the northern part of the state, the Lakes Trail takes its name from the abundance of, well, lakes found in this part of the state. Stretching from Paris (Texas) and Athens (Texas) in the east up to Wichita Falls and south to Hillsboro, the...
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TX-118, Fort Davis, TX 79734, USA
Set at the very westernmost tip of Texas, bordering both Mexico and New Mexico, the Mountain Trail contains some of the most rustic and remote areas of the state. This is Big Bend country, with sparsely located towns like the eclectic community...
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Spanning from the South Texas town of Del Rio upwards to the Big Bend towns of Midland and Odessa, with some uniquely named stops like Kermit, Wink, and Big Lake, the Pecos Trail is made up of 22 counties across West Texas and stretches eastward...
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7200 Paredes Line Rd, Brownsville, TX 78526, USA
When most people think of Texas, they think of cowboys, horses, and wide-brimmed hats, not the tropics. The Tropical Trail is proof, however, that there is a little bit of everything in this state. At the southernmost tip of Texas, encompassing...
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In the northernmost part of Texas in the Panhandle, lies the Plains Trail a land of cowboys, cattle, endless horizons, and big Texas skies and sunsets. Ranching heritage and cowboy culture are strong in the Plains Trail, comprising 52 counties and...