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Four longhorn cattle grazing dry grass under the scrubby trees in Texas.

Chisholm and Great Western NHT Feasibility Study/Environmental Assessment

National Trails System » Chisholm and Great Western NHT Feasibility Study/Environmental Assessment » Document List

Welcome to the Chisholm and Great Western National Historic Trail Feasibility Study/Environmental Assessment project!

The proposed Chisholm and Great Western National Historic Trail commemorates the routes followed by upwards of ten million cattle as they traveled northbound from southern Texas to Kansas and adjacent destinations between 1867 and the 1880s.

In recognition of the perceived national importance of these two routes, and in response to public advocacy for the inclusion of these routes in the National Trails System, Congress passed legislation that was signed by President Obama on March 30, 2009 (Sec. 5303 of P.L. 111-11).

This public law calls for a study of "The Chisholm Trail (also known as the 'Abilene Trail'), from the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas ... to Enid, Oklahoma, Caldwell, Kansas, Wichita, Kansas, Abilene, Kansas, and commonly used segments running to alternative Kansas destinations" as well as "The Great Western Trail (also known as the 'Dodge City Trail'), from the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas, north-by-northwest [to] Oklahoma, north through Kansas to Dodge City, and north through Nebraska to Ogallala."

In compliance with P.L. 111-11, National Park Service staff led by the National Trails Intermountain Region (NTIR) office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have completed a feasibility study for the proposed Chisholm and Great Western National Historic Trail.

Public meetings for scoping purposes were held in June 2010. A planning newsletter and a scoping report are available. The reviewed statement of national significance has been posted as well. NTIR finished our work on the study in 2016. The study is being reviewed in Washington in preparation for submittal to Congress, which determines whether these trails are designated or not. We are not allowed to release the final documents for the study or their results to the public until Congress has received them. We apologize for the delay. We will update our webpage when appropriate to indicate the current status of the study.

If Congress designates these trails, we will prepare a comprehensive plan for their administration, which will include measures for protection, signing, and interpretation of the trails. No private lands will be acquired. We work collaboratively with governmental agencies, states, local, and federal, Indian tribes, and the public to achieve the commemorative purpose of national historic trails. We look forward to working with you and all trail advocates if and when Congress acts to designate these trails as national historic trails.

Thank you for your interest in this planning project.

Aaron Mahr
National Trails Intermountain Region

Contact Information
Aaron Mahr
National Park Service
National Trails Intermountain Region
P.O. Box 728
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504