Goodnight-Loving Trail map
See related: Retracing the Goodnight-Loving Trail
The author, Julia Robinson, traced the Texas route of the Goodnight-Loving Trail using J. Evetts Haley’s 1936 biography Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman as her primary source. She bookended her trip with stops in Oran, where Goodnight and Loving’s partnership began, and the Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford, Loving’s final resting place.
This map is meant to serve only as a general reference. See the special Google map Robinson created, which includes some additional sites. If you decide to make the trek yourself, we also recommend that you take along The Roads of Texas to help you navigate the backroads. Information about the sites mentioned in the story follows.
Black Springs (present-day Oran) lies northwest of Mineral Wells. From Graford, drive 5 miles east on Texas 254, turn left on FM 52, and drive 2 miles to Oran. The historical markers are on the west side of Main Street.
Fort Belknap lies south of Newcastle. Drive 1.5 miles south on US 380, turn left on FM 61, and drive 2 miles to Fort Belknap. Call 940/846-3222; www.forttours.com/pages.fortchadbourne.asp.
Neuhaus Pens. The approximate location of the pens was 2 miles southwest of Fort Belknap on the west bank of the Brazos River. From Newcastle, go south on US 380, turn left on Miller Bend Rd. An old railroad bridge that crosses the river and provides a view downstream will be immediately on your left.
Fort Phantom Hill, north of Abilene, 325/677-1309; www.fortphantom.org. From Abilene, exit Interstate 20 at FM 600, and go north for 14 miles. The main portion of the fort is located on the east side of FM 600.
Buffalo Gap Historic Village, at 133 N. William St., in Buffalo Gap, 325/572-3365; www.buffalogap.com.
Fort Chadbourne lies 12 miles north of Bronte on US 277. Call 325/743-2555; www.fortchadbourne.org.
Castle Gap lies north of McCamey. Go north on US 385 for 12 miles, and turn right on Castle Gap Rd. After 2 miles, you’ll come to a gate that prevents further travel. Castle Gap lies to the east.
Horsehead Crossing lies north of Girvin. Go north on FM 11 for 12 miles, take a right on Horsehead Rd., and drive 3 miles to the historical marker.
Greenwood Cemetery, at 400 Front St., in Weatherford. For details, call the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce at 817/596-3801; www.ci.weatherford.tx.us.
From the August 2011 issue.