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Fort Griffin State Historic Site

Fort Griffin State Historic Site is located in the Texas Forts Trail region northeast of Abilene in Shackelford County. The fort was originally established in 1867 and the current site encompasses 506 acres. It was previously under the jurisdiction of Texas Parks & Wildlife, but is now administered by the Texas Historical Commission.  

This area is primarily mesquite grasslands and plains, with riparian areas along the waterways. The Clear Fork of the Brazos River flows adjacent to the campground, which is located across the highway from the main historical site. It’s a native habitat to Texas wintergrass, pecan, and hackberry. It’s also home to many types of wildlife, including bobcats, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer.   

RaggedyCrow and I chanced upon this site via the atlas while desperately trying to find a campsite as we traversed West Texas. In addition to the ruins of Fort Griffin and interpretive center, this site offers camping, fishing, hiking, stargazing, equestrian facilities, and even has a couple of small boats available for rental. Fort Griffin is also the home of the Official State of Texas Longhorn Herd!  

Daily admission fees range from free (children 5 and under) to $4 (adults). Guided tours are available $7, and suitable for disabled visitors, because they use golf carts to travel the site. There are 33 sites in the campground. Fees are in addition to the day use fee, and range from $10 (primitive/equestrian) to $27 (on-site covered shelter) per night. They have hot showers!  

**If you’re interested in the history of the Wild West, make sure to stop by the nearby Fort Griffin “Flat,” which was the civilian town beneath the fort. It’s notable for being a major stop on the Great Western Cattle Trail, and also for harboring a colorful cast of outlaws, gamblers, and other characters from the Old West, like Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. It’s mainly on private property, so a visit here is generally restricted to the dirt road facing the restored buildings.**

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