These tracks, originally formed in soft dirt, are taken from an ancient buffalo trail which once guided herds to water at Champion Creek (6 miles south).
Thousands of buffalo running single file pounded trails like this deep into the ground. When any one route became too deep, they started another, over the years making many side by side. Trails to grazing areas radiated from watering holes. Migratory trails stretched from the Rio Grande to Canada, usually following high, level ground in order to avoid winter snowdrifts and summer muck.
Brothers J. Wright and John Mooar, Mitchell County businessmen and famous buffalo hunters, helped to kill thousands (including a white buffalo), 1870 to 1877. Chief product was the hide, but tongues, humps, and hams were also sold. Buffalo were so plentiful that in 1872 Mooar saw a northward migration of millions taking over 6 weeks to cross the Arkansas River.
In their time, buffalo trails aided the Indians, who followed them to the animals' feeding grounds. Later, explorers blazed new roads along them, and railroad engineers more than once used their exact routes. In this way, the buffalo trail was a key to the opening of transportation and settlement across the U.S.(incise on base)
Early travel, transportation and comunicarion series
Erected by The Moody Foundation 1967