Through this gap in hills called "Brady Mountains" passed the western cattle trail, also known as "Dodge City Trail", "Fort Griffin Trail", or "The Beef Trail". Said to have originated in 1876, this was the last of the old-time Texas cattle trails, those east of here having been closed by farmers. Large numbers of cattle were driven up this trail 1876 to 1886—over 200,000 head in 1881 alone. This trail started near Brownsville and came up to San Antonio, then northwest through or near Uvalde and Kerrville. Skirting the Nueces River, it came over the divide, crossing headwaters of the South Llano River, fording San Saba River at Pegleg Crossing, going downriver about six miles, then turning north. Near Brady, feeder trails came from Fort McKavett and points west, and from San Saba, to the east.
After leaving Cow Gap (likely so named from Cow Creek, about 500 yards west of this marker), it went northwest and over the Colorado at "Beef Crossing" in Waldrip's Bend, then to Coleman, Baird, Fort Griffin and Vernon, spanning Red River at Doan's Crossing. Northward through Indian country it went to Dodge City, Kansas, and later into Wyoming and Montana.
This trail was of great worth to the territories it traversed.