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Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Quanah Parker Trail: Follow the Arrows into History

  • Quanah Parker Trail arrow dedication, Mobeetie (Wheeler Co.)Quanah Parker Trail arrow dedication, Mobeetie (Wheeler Co.)
  • Quanah Parker Trail arrow dedication, Abernathy (Hale Co.)Quanah Parker Trail arrow dedication, Abernathy (Hale Co.)
  • Quanah Parker Trail arrow dedication, Snyder (Scurry Co.)Quanah Parker Trail arrow dedication, Snyder (Scurry Co.)

The Comanche Indians once dominated vast areas of North America—and yet, forced onto reservations, they left little record of their own story. Today a network of 22-foot-tall steel arrows by artist Charles A. Smith marks sites where the Comanches, and their last chief, Quanah Parker, hunted, traded, lived, traveled, and fought. Retrace the footsteps and hoofbeats of the “Lords of the Plains” as you honor their rich culture and history, and learn about a past that is written on the land.

What started out as a group of enthusiastic regional citizens interested in telling the fascinating story of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker turned into a public art and commemorative project to mark the sites of Native history in the former Comancheria. Since 2011, the Texas Plains Trail Region's Quanah Parker Trail Steering Committee has facilitated the research about these sites, and overseen installation of more than 70 arrows marking the nearly forgotten-to-public-memory history of the Native American Comanche presence in the Texas Panhandle, predating the arrival of Anglo ranchers and settlers.

The project's website at www.quanahparkertrail.com indicates arrow locations and provides detailed background.

Many arrow markers have already been plotted in geocaching applications, and historical events and dedications are scheduled at the arrow sites. Sign up for the Texas Plains Trail "Tales from the Trail" e-newsletter to stay informed on events and developments.