In addition to its agricultural roots, Cheraw lies along the Mountain Branch of the old Santa Fe Trail. During the 1840s, the trail saw thousands of travelers seeking fortunes in the southwest territories. Bent's Old Fort, located a couple miles to the southeast of Cheraw, was the main source of supplies for settlers between Independence, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It also served as the regional hub of the fur trade industry. Around 1847, the U.S. Army used the fort as a staging point for its invasion of Mexican land.
The Cheraw Reservoir is considered one of the premier birding areas in the region. Watchers can expect to see a variety of birds including avocets, willets, long-billed curlews and many others. Also be sure to check out the extraordinary dinosaur tracks found in the Picketwire Canyonlands. These tracks were made during the Jurassic Period, 150 million years ago, by an Apatosaurs weighing more than 35 tons and the carnivorous Allosaurus.