Along the Chisholm Trail Index


Cattle trails

Cattle trails

 This map shows rough approximations of the routes taken by the three major cattle trails that ran from Texas north through the Indian Nations into Kansas and beyond. There were many more cattle trails than these -- the Goodnight-Loving Trail in the Texas Panhandle comes immediately to mind, as does John Chisum's Trail from Central Texas west into New Mexico -- but this map may be confusing enough without adding them.

 Because Texas is where the longhorns were, that is where the trails began. These feeder trails are marked in brown. In this map, most of the feeder trails lead to Red River Crossing, connecting with the red-colored Chisholm Trail in what is now Oklahoma. They are pictured this way on the map because this web site is concerned with the Chisholm Trail, not necessarily because they were the primary routes followed by the cattle herds.

 The light blue trail, shown east of the Chisholm Trail, depicts the Shawnee Trail which carried cattle from Texas to Missouri and, from 1867 to 1872, to Baxter Springs, Kansas. The dark blue trail, shown west of the Chisholm Trail, depicts the Western Trail which carried cattle to Dodge City, Kansas, as well as points farther north in Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana.

 The pink trails separating from the red Chisholm Trail depict alternative routes for the cattle, whether leading to Ellsworth, Dodge City or points farther north.

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