Fort Davis National Historic Site

West Texas

Established in 1854, this well-preserved, beautifully sited frontier fort was named for then–Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Staffed exclusively by black soldiers between 1867 and 1881, it was abandoned in 1891, but more than 20 buildings remain amid the 100-plus ruins, and five now hold period furnishings. Bugle calls echo at regular intervals, and in summer costumed interpreters tell tales of military life. In the refurbished barracks, each bed bears the name of its actual 1884 occupant.

The fort is strategically located at the foot of Sleeping Lion Mountain and Hospital Canyon, at the northeast edge of modern Fort Davis. Ask for a trail map in its visitor center, which also holds an engaging museum. Hikes starting from here range from the 1-mile Tall Grass Loop to the more ambitious 3-mile trek to Davis Mountains State Park.

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