Plains Trail Region

With a mule’s shoe as its brand, the Muleshoe Ranch was carved out of the historic XIT Ranch. The railroad pushed through in 1913, and a town formed at the ranch’s cattle-loading pens. The Santa Fe depot is now part of the Muleshoe Heritage Center, along with an 1897 XIT (later the Muleshoe Ranch) cookhouse, two 1915 mail-order ranch houses and an early 1900s hotel. The 27-foot-high “World’s Largest Muleshoe,” erected as an Eagle Scout project, looms over the complex. Bailey County seat Muleshoe is home to the 1925 Classical Revival courthouse of red brick.

Muleshoe also boasts a life-sized mule statue as a tribute to the animal’s role in World War I. "Ol' Pete" is the only national memorial representing the role mules played in US history. In 2001, he travelled to Washington, DC, for President Bush’s Black Tie and Boots Presidential Inauguration Ball and Inaugural Parade.

The 6,440-acre Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, situated in the southern part of the county, is the state's oldest, set aside in 1935. Its grasslands and playa lakes annually host one of the largest concentrations of lesser sandhill cranes in North America, and is a significant site of CCC-era construction as well.

View slide shows:
Excursion to Muleshoe National Wildlife Refugre and Muleshoe Heritage Center, 2012
Installation of Quanah Parker Trail arrows, Bailey County, January 2013