As law and order sorted itself out in 1878 and 1879, the Lincoln County
Wars agitated America’s largest county. A central figure in the conflict was a 17-
year old hired gun named William Bonney. Imprisoned for extracting revenge on
a sheriff ’s posse, Billy the Kid was detained in Lincoln before breaking out of jail
and killing two guards. Bonney was soon hunted down and killed by Sheriff Pat
The entire town of Lincoln - some 150 strong - is today a National Historic
Landmark. You and your dog can walk through the one-street town, several
blocks long, and study the historically preserved buildings that include the merchandise
store owned by murdered Englishman John Tunstull and the courthouse
where Billy the Kid made good his daring escape.
After your walking tour you can pile the dog back in the car and take a driving
tour on the 84-mile loop around Lincoln dubbed the Billy the Kid National
Scenic Byway. It doesn’t have much to do with Bonney’s travels but you will get a
healthy dose of the rugged beauty of the American West and plenty of recreation
opportunities for your dog in the Lincoln National Forest.
Lincoln, New Mexico
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