Farm & Ranch Attractions

Happy trails!

Abby Paugh July 07, 2018

Take a step back in time to the days of the cattle drives at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan! 

This year is the Heritage Center's 20th anniversary!

I spent a morning last week exploring the exhibits and learning about everything the center has to offer. From the Garis Gallery of the American West to the 4-D experience theater to the interactive exhibits, there is something at the museum for all ages.

This rattlesnake was a bit too realistic for me!

The interactive area of the museum has plenty of activities for the kiddos, although adults are certainly welcome to join in on the fun too! I made my own brand at the branding station and tested my cattle knowledge with the “You’re the Boss” game. (I made a profit and only lost a few cattle, so I’m a “veteran trail boss.”)

Check out my brand! It’s a work in progress…

The Duncan Store is getting some improvements soon to make it more interactive, but it is still fascinating to explore the replica of the original store, which was established in the mid-1870s. Kids can stand at the store counter and pretend to buy or sell goods needed for life on the prairie.

"What can I get fer ya, miss?"

A stop at the animatronic Campfire Theater explains how the Chisholm Trail started through a visit with Jesse Chisholm and Tex, a cowboy on the Chisholm Trail. 

Across the hall is the 4-D Experience Theater, which shows a film about life on the trail. As you watch the cowboys travel up to Abilene, you get to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the prairie. Feel the rumble of a cattle stampede, smell the sagebrush and dust, and watch out for the sprays of rain coming down during a storm!

Hear and feel the thunder in the 4-D Experience Theater!

Before I left, I also browsed the Garis Gallery of the American West, which features the work of well-known Western artists as well as local and regional artists.

This summer, the center is hosting Free Family Art Mondays each week and a temporary art exhibit, Smoke Over Oklahoma: The Railroad Photographs of Preston George. 

These paintings are part of a special art gallery exhibit featuring regional artist Joy Quigley.

Also, staff at the Heritage Center are gearing up for their National Day of the Cowboy celebration happening July 28! The event will feature games and activities for the kids, appearances by children’s author Una Belle Townsend and cowboy cartoonist Daryl Talbot, a live band and FREE admission.

For more information on the National Day of the Cowboy event and the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, go to or visit the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Facebook page.

The outdoor pavilion is a perfect spot for a picnic after your visit.

Abby Paugh

Abby is an agritourism coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. She believes an Oklahoma adventure is the best kind of adventure, and she is excited to share the stories of Oklahoma agriculture with agritourists across the state.


museum   chisholm trail