Texas Forts Trail Region

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

Passport: Frontier Reconnaissance

You are invited to use our Passport to make a reconnaissance through the Texas Forts Trail Region, a place that was once the wild frontier where explorers and frontiersmen clashed with the land and Native Americans. Come hear the stories and explore the places where history was made—and make you own memories!

Sixteen pages within the Passport highlight museums, frontier forts, historic sites and more within the Texas Forts Trail Region. As you visit each site, get your passport stamped or use a QR code to obtain a secret password.  When at least twelve of the pages have a stamp or password, you are eligible for one of three Grand Prizes.

 Visit our historic sites, tour a museum, or check out the sites, shops, and eateries. The "trail" is a recommended 650-mile driving loop within a 29-county region of Central West Texas that is anchored by a Spanish presidio and eight historic frontier forts. Take the trail and explore the region!

The Passport is available at no charge.  Request your Passport or pick one up at any of the featured sites:

  • Brown County Museum of History – Brownwood
  • Buffalo Gap Historic Village – Buffalo Gap
  • Eastland Chamber of Commerce – fetauring the Connellee Hotel, Grimes Memorial Garden, Old Rip Park, Connellee Plaza, the Majestic Theater, and the Eastland Historic Hotel
  • Don Freeman Memorial Museum – Eden
  • Fort Chadbourne – Bronte
  • Fort Concho – San Angelo
  • Fort Griffin – Albany
  • Fort McKavett – Fort McKavett/Menard
  • Fort Richardson – Jacksboro
  • Frontier Texas! – Abilene
  • W. K. Gordon Center – Thurber/Mingus
  • The Grace Museum – Abilene
  • Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce  –  featuring the Mineral Wells Famous Mineral Water Company, Fossil Park and Palo Pinto Old Jail Museum Complex
  • The Old Jail Art Center – Albany
  • The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts – San Angelo
  • The San Angelo Visitors Center – San Angelo


How to Use Your Texas Forts Trail Passport

The Passport highlights sixteen sites within the Texas Forts Trail Region that are listed alphabetically.   When you have accumulated at least twelve stamps, you are eligible for one of three Grand Prizes.

  • Plan your visit to these Texas Forts Trail sites.  Look up websites. Confirm dates of operation, hours, and admission fees.  Check to see if there are special events or exhibits.
  • Get your Passport stamped at each site you visit. Cancellations will be available at the site’s front desk or visitor center.When visiting the sites highlighted on the Eastland and Mineral Wells pages, you’ll find a QR code prominently displayed.  Using your smart phone, these QR codes will direct you to a “Secret Password.”  Write the password on these pages where indicated. The Secret Password takes the place of the stamp.  While we encourage you to do so, it is not a requirement to visit all of the sites in these communities; a single Password will suffice.
  • Enter our Texas Forts Trail Passport Grand Prize Drawing to win one of three prizes. 
  • You must be at least 18 years of age on January 2, 2015.
  • You must visit and obtain a stamp from at least 12 of the 16 sites within this passport.
  • Completed passports should be mailed along with your name, mailing address and email address to:  Texas Forts Trail, 3702 Loop 322, Abilene, TX 79602.
  • Upon verification of stamps and collection of contact information, your passport will be mailed back to you.Passports must be postmarked on or before December 15, 2014 to qualify for the Grand Prize Drawing.
  • Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries on January 2, 2015.
  • Grand Prize Drawing winners will be notified by mail and email.It is the responsibility of the winners to book their 2-night stay within the calendar year of 2015.


Grand Prizes

Experience two nights’ lodging at one of the following: a Blues music-themed bed and breakfast in the heart of historic San Angelo; a ranch resort featuring the rich Old West history; or an upscale home featuring West Texas heritage décor, located discreetly on one of Abilene’s most beloved streets. 

Wildcatter Ranch, Graham

We invite you to experience Wildcatter Ranch. Located only 90 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas the ranch takes in 1,500 acres of North Texas Hill Country. Minutes from Possum Kingdom Lake, Wildcatter Ranch is a perfect escape for couples in search of a romantic getaway or families seeking new adventures.  Enjoy sunsets from your back porch or spend your day horseback riding, shooting sporting clays or exploring the rich Old West history of Young County. Wildcatter Ranch provides an authentic Texas ranch experience combined with upscale accommodations and services. Wind down at our onsite Steakhouse and enjoy the finest Texas cuisine featuring hand-cut steaks and an award winning wine list. Wildcatter Ranch is also the perfect location for your next corporate meeting or destination wedding. With beautiful event locations, high-tech meeting rooms and creative team building options, we are the perfect Dallas/Fort Worth Conference Center. 

Sayles Ranch Guesthouses, Abilene

When looking for accommodations or an Abilene Bed and Breakfast, consider the SAYLES RANCH GUESTHOUSES as an unexpected alternative! Evoking the mystique and romanticism of our frontier past, the Sayles Ranch Guesthouses create an enclave of upscale, un-hosted, whole house rentals. Featuring West Texas heritage décor, they are located discreetly amid the historic homes on one of Abilene’s most beloved streets—Sayles Boulevard, which is an historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This innovative concept is unique to Abilene and allows our guests to rent an upscale, furnished property on a nightly basis. Instead of meals and other services, we specialize in offering our guests a level of luxury and privacy not available elsewhere in our area. Our properties vary in size and are available individually or in combination depending on your needs.

Sealy Flats Blues Inn Bed and Breakfast, San Angelo

Built in 1908 the original Sealy Flats hotel is now home to the unique boutique Sealy Flats Blues Inn. This intimate inn includes one master suite and two mini suites and is situated in the heart of the downtown historic district. The Blues Music themed eclectic period décor includes period furnishings and collectibles as well as an art gallery featuring works of art from local artists including chalk and oil paintings of well known local blues musicians and famous historic Blues Music figures. The reinvention of this early 20th century historic building brings to life the blues era.

The four-room master suite is complete with bedroom, full kitchen, sitting room, private bath and screened sunroom with private access to the adjacent patio area. Each mini suite offers private bath, sitting area and in room amenities. The inn provides an environment of total comfort as well as easy access to music, art, shopping and other venues within walking distance of the inn. All inn suites are non-smoking to insure total guest comfort.

Adding to the ambiance of the inn, the Jimmy Reed Courtyard is host to outdoor live concerts by local and regional musicians 7:00 to 9:00 p. m. every Friday and Saturday nights. You never know who will stop by and join in to jam. Whether you choose a relaxing romantic stay or enjoy the nearby points of interest, your stay will be memorable. Other rooms in the hotel both public and private include such famous names as Muddy Waters, Etta James, Freddie King, Robert Johnson and Son House.