On our way from Douglas, Wyoming, to Pathfinder Reservoir, we visited a couple of locations in the Casper area.
One of these was the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.
The Pony Express, a larger than life bronze sculpture, outside the center:
The center provides a lot of information and displays related to the historic westward trails, including an automatic presentation that spotlights figures in the center’s theater at appropriate points.
One drawback of the theater setup is there is no door between the entrance area and the theater and light reflects from the theater.
From the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center website:
The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is a cooperative partnership between BLM, the National Historic Trails Center Foundation and the City of Casper. The Trails Center interprets the significant role of the area’s historic trails in the history of the United States, and seeks to promote public understanding of both America’s western Native Cultures and historic westward expansion while highlighting BLM’s role as active stewards of public lands.
Nearly 500,000 people traveled the Oregon, Mormon, California and Pony Express Trails between 1840 and 1870.
Inside the building, the facility’s theatre showcases composite characters traveling the trails: Native Americans, explorers and mountain men, emigrants and Pony Express riders. These diorama figures represent Native cultures and the thousands of people who emigrated west.
An original 18-minute multi-media program, Footsteps to the West, is shown in the theatre on a regular basis.
The Trails Center features seven exhibit galleries:
- Ways of the People
- The U.S. Looks West (mountain men & explorers)
- The Oregon Trail
- The Mormon Trail
- The California Trail
- The Pony Express Trail
- The Trails Today
All of these galleries feature hands-on exhibits as well as informational panels which tell the story of those who lived, worked and traveled these national historic trails.
The Center is located at the blue pin on our travel route map.