Apr 08, 2024

Hays featured in 'Gunsmoke Trail' tourism collaboration

Posted Apr 08, 2024 9:15 AM


The Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau, in collaboration with CVBs in Wichita, Abilene, and Dodge City, recently launched the Gunsmoke Trail – a road trip that takes visitors through towns that were mentioned in the hit show of the same name.

Gunsmoke, the Emmy award-winning primetime Western, entertained audiences for 20 years. The show still runs on select networks, with iconic characters telling the story of frontier life in the Old West.

“This collaboration is a win-win for all of our communities,” said Melissa Dixon, Executive Director of the Hays CVB.

“The Gunsmoke fan base is looking for nostalgic Old West experiences that we already have in place, so we just had to make a connection with that audience.”

The Gunsmoke Trail is easily accessible through a mobile “passport” program which allows smart phone users to check in at different stops, earning points for prizes. The passport functions like a mobile app but requires no app download.

Examples of Wild West-themed locations that visitors will be directed to in Hays include:

  1. Historic Walking Tour on the Bricks in Downtown Hays, where bronze plaques mark the first shops, saloons, and shootouts of Hays City (now Hays)
  2. Fort Hays State Historic Site, now offering free admission, which showcases the life of the soldiers who were stationed at Fort Hays
  3. Ellis County Historical Society Museum, which offers scheduled tours of the Younger Harness Shop
  4. Felten Sculpture Tour featuring statues of “Buffalo Bill” Cody and “Wild Bill” Hickok
  5. Murals throughout downtown Hays featuring icons of the Old West
  6. Bison Herd in Frontier Park
  7. Boot Hill Cemetery, where many buried there died “with their boots on.”

Visitors can learn more and sign up for the program at KansasGunsmokeTrail.com or call 785-628-8202.