Shawnee Trail Conservation Area is in Barton County,one mile south of Mindenmines.
The 3,635-acre area takes its name from a trail through the area that played a major role in the history of this country.
The trail, sometimes called the Texas Road, was at various times followed by Native Americans, traders heading toward Santa Fe, settlers moving to Texas, and Texas cattlemen heading to Sedalia, Quincy, and Chicago.
Between 1845 and 1858, the Shawnee Trail became an important cattle route for moving Texas beef to eastern markets and later to Independence, Kansas City, and Westport, where settlers moving to California and Oregon bought provisions before starting their long trips. As many as 50,000 head per year made the trip from Austin and Waco to the northern markets.
Shawnee Trail Conservation Area offers opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, birding, and nature photography.
During your visit to the area you may observe wildlife management, research and soil conservation projects in progress. Sharecrop agreements with local farmers help provide food and cover for wildlife. Discing and controlled burning are used regularly to manipulate vegetation in the fields to improve habitat for wildlife.
Shrub plantings provide woody cover for quail, rabbits, and other wildlife species. The grasslands, marshes, and old fields provide opportunities to view unique bird species such as shorteared owls, marsh wrens, LeConte's sparrows, prairie falcons, merlins, and various migrant shorebirds. Lakes on the area are used by shorebirds and waterfowl.
Deer hunting is allowed by Archery and Muzzleloader Method Only (antlerless permits are NOT allowed)
Trapping is allowed by Special Use Permit