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 office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will complete 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. The draft study has now been released for a 60-day public review and comment period beginning January 5, 2015. Please refer to this website often for project updates.