Fort Davis Historical Trail


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Cavalry at Ft DavisAnother new opportunity at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch is the Fort Davis Historical Trail Award. Although this award is earned outside of camp at the National Historic Site Fort Davis, it is administered by the camp and the Buffalo Trail Council. To earn this award, participants must complete the four requirements listed below, and submit the application for approval.

The award comes in the form of a patch and an optional medal, which will be available in the Jersey Lilly Trading Post. This award is a great opportunity for those Troops visiting the Fort before or after camp or on Thursday night as your “Troop Night” program. Workbooks and award applications will be available at camp and on the Buffalo Trail Council Website.


  1. Hike the historical trail consisting of about one mile on the course described in the booklet and fill in the blanks found in the booklet.
  2. Youth shall take part in one of the Fort’s educational games (Mystery of the Talking Walls, Junior Ranger, etc.) and adults shall supervise the youth in completing them.
  3. Do a service project either at Fort Davis or at BTSR. Approval of any project must be obtained in advance of any work done.
  4. Fill out the application form found in the trail booklet, and submit it at the Jersey Lilly when purchasing awards for all participants.


Nationally, more than 300 trails have been approved for use by Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers. The BSA strongly recommends that hikers use only historic trails that have been nationally approved. Each trail is different, varying in length, accommodations, markings, terrain, and awards.

In order for a trail to be approved, it must meet certain historic trail specifications. They include: historic significance, layout, upkeep, and administration. The Fort Davis Historical Trail Award has met all of these BSA standards and has been approved by the National Council for use by Scouts of all ages!

Following the war, increased hostility by the Indians hampered U. S. expansion westward, and it was felt necessary to rebuild the fort. In 1867, units of the newly formed 9th Cavalry were sent to accomplish this task. Eventually, all four of the Buffalo Soldier units formed after the Civil War would serve at Fort Davis.

The old fort is now a part of the National Park system, and is considered the best preserved Indian Wars fort in the Southwest. It is the only preserved site commemorating the unique military origins of the Buffalo Soldiers.

We hope those who follow in the footsteps of the soldiers of the 1880’s will come to better understand how Fort Davis was a vital part of the rich history of Texas! As you tour the museum and hike the trail, we encourage you to learn as much as possible about the lives of the soldiers who were stationed here far from their homes in a very remote part of Texas! 

Download: Fort Davis Historical Trail Guide Booklet