The Comanche Trail Park, which opened on a Friday in Big Spring, Texas, is a monument to the Comanche Indians.
The park is a 22-acre tract of prairie and woodland along the old Comanche Trail, which connected the heart of Comanche country with the Red River settlements on the Texas-Oklahoma border. The trail was blazed by Comanche Indians in 1797 as a way to reach the trading posts. The Comanches abandoned the trail after the Mexican War, and in 1853 the U.S. Army took over the trail.
The Big Spring area, along the route of the old trail, was once home to many Comanche Indians. When settlers moved into the area, they commonly referred to the Comanches as “Running Water” or “Water Buffalo.”
Comanche Trail Park, which opened to the public Friday, is a joint venture of Big Spring Parks and Recreation, the Nature Conservancy, the Boy Scouts, and the City of Big Spring. The park was dedicated on April 19, 1991, the 220th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that finally made Comanche hunting off limits. The park is named for Chief Running Water.
The park also contains the Running Water Indian Village, a replica of a Comanche village that was occupied between 1820 and 1860. The replica consists of 15 buildings, including a tipi (a type of teepee), a trading post, and a house. The house, which occupies half a square block, shows the kind of homes that early settlers would have seen along that part of Interstate 20.
The Comanche Trail was an Indian trail that ran from Arkansas to Texas. (The trail did not actually lead through the Comanche Nation.) It connected the Red River settlements with “Comancheria”, the Comanche homeland. It led to the Comanche’s great buffalo hunt. It led to the Texas Revolution. It is a great place to check it if you are in Big Spring Texas.