T O N O R T H E A S T C O LO R A D O
YOURS TO EXPLORE Discover our welcoming communitiesâ€™ hometown events, outdoor adventure, museums, golfing, hunting and more.
OFFICIAL VISITOR AND COMMUNITY RESOURCE GUIDE
2 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
4 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Welcome to Northeast Colorado.
hen you arrive in our land of inviting communities and wide-open spaces, I think you’ll find life moves at a more relaxed pace. There’s no rushing about. Traffic jams simply don’t exist. The clean and clear skies mean you see for miles in every direction, and the Milky Way and shimmering stars at night astound visitors from light-polluted big cities. Getting into nature, whether it’s outdoor recreation or hunting, is a way of life. The trends of shopping locally and historic preservation are big in some places, but out here it’s no trend – it’s just the way it’s always been. Most shops are family-run, locally owned businesses, and nearly every community has a historic downtown with interesting, century-old architecture that has been repurposed to keep up with the times. People who visit for the first time seldom leave as strangers. The most common reaction from those who visit our friendly communities? “It’s just like Mayberry.” Venture to Northeast Colorado gives you the tools you need to get the richest possible experience here, giving you fun jumping-off points to explore the Plains, no matter what your main interests are. So take the road less traveled and venture into our welcoming Northeast Colorado communities. You are almost certain to make new friends if you spend any time here. We want you to feel like you’re part of the family. And we hope you’ll visit us again.
Highway 385 outside of Wray shows off some of the surprising topography to be found in Northeast Colorado.
Kristine Rodine Northeast Colorado Travel Region
T O N O R T H E A S T C O LO R A D O REGIONS 8 16 22 26 32 40
Sterling in Logan County Akron in Washington County Julesburg in Sedgwick County Holyoke & Haxtun in Phillips County Yuma & Wray in Yuma County Fort Morgan in Morgan County
DAY TRIPS 14 Town & Country Family Fun 21 See the Plains in the Fast Lane 31 Take the Quilt Trail
6 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Depart from Sterling or Fort Morgan on a scenic byway through 71 Pawnee National Grassland.
Crook Proctor 76 Iliff South Platte River Fleming
Longmeadow Game Resort in Wiggins takes hunters on guided and self-guided hunts for everything from deer to birds to coyote (pg. 43). Holyoke is pheasant-hunting headquarters, with public walk-in access areas and private preserves at Ballyneal Hunt Club and Newman Adventures (pg. 30).
Goodrich Snyder Weldona Orchard Log Lane Village Hillrose Brush Wiggins Fort Morgan 71
A village of historic buildings and a two-headed calf await visitors at the Overland Trail Museum in Sterling (pg. 11). The Wray Museum is home to a Smithsonian exhibit on the huge cache of prehistoric bison fossils found nearby (pg. 35). Find an arrowhead lodged in a human vertebrae at Julesburg’s Depot Museum (pg. 24).
Willard Jackson Lake
North Sterling State Park
The South Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway covers 19 miles of pretty countryside west of Julesburg (pg. 24). North Sterling State Park offers a lake for boaters and anglers, and trails for hikers and birdwatchers (pg. 10). The reservoir at Jackson Lake State Park gives swimmers some of the best sandy beaches in the state (pg. 44).
Golf Sterling has two excellent 18-hole courses at Riverside Golf Club and Northeastern 18 (pg. 13). The nine-hole course at the Holyoke Golf Club is a real hidden gem (pg. 29). The sixth hole at the Washington County Golf Club in Akron has you “thread the needle” across a ravine (pg. 18).
Speed The colorful facades in downtown Merino pay tribute to favorite businesses of days gone by. Longmeadow Game Resort in Wiggins lets you bring your favorite hunting dog for professionally guided or self-guided bird hunts. Beautiful Riverside Park in Fort Morgan has a top-notch disc golf course to bring a little competitive fun to your relaxing day in the park.
Phillips County Raceway’s semi-banked clay oval track features top-notch drivers and a new concession stand (pg. 29). If it races on dirt, you’ll find it zooming around the course at the I-76 Speedway in Fort Morgan (pg. 43). Hot rods have filled weekends with rubber-burning excitement at the Julesburg Drag Strip since 1953 (pg. 25).
Photography by Colorado Life Magazine’s Joshua Hardin and Christopher Amundson. Freelance photographers listed below images. Writing by Matt Masich and Lisa Hutchins. Design by Tannon Asche, Emily Levine and Carla Schaffer. Advertising sales by Greg Carner.
A vintage Ferris wheel and an always-great musical headliner star at July’s Eastern Colorado Roundup in Akron (pg. 18). Steam-powered and horse-drawn farm machines come to life in September at Old Threshers Days in Yuma (pg. 36). Beer, brats and polka music make Brush’s Oktoberfest one of the best parties on the Plains (pg. 42).
Venture to Northeast Colorado is published by Colorado Life Magazine, Northeast Colorado Travel Region and the Colorado Tourism Office in cooperation with communities for the purpose of promoting and developing the tourism industry in Northeast Colorado. All content is copyright 2017 by Colorado Life Magazine. Contact the publisher for permission to reprint or reuse any content, for advertising rates or to submit story ideas. 970-480-0148 • coloradolifemagazine.com
North Sterling Reservoir • Overland Trail Museum • Amazing Tree Sculptures
in Logan County STERLING | MERINO | PEETZ | CROOK FLEMING | PADRONI | ILIFF WILLARD | PROCTOR | ATWOOD
Youngsters learn the Plains Indian sign for bison at Sterling’s Overland Trail Museum. With a modern facility housing exhibits and many historic buildings to explore, the museum is a fascinating look at Logan County history.
he city of Sterling is the largest urban area in Northeast Colorado, giving the otherwise rural Logan County the best of both worlds. Sterling has great art, shops and restaurants, while outdoor enthusiasts find many opportunities to have fun. North Sterling State Park is the jewel of Logan County. Centered on a large reservoir about 15 miles north of Sterling, this park offers interesting topography, hiking trails, camping, fishing and fantastic boating. Sterling is called the City of Living Trees thanks to the incredible sculptures that local artist Bradford Rhea carved from cottonwood trees; stop by the Logan County Visitor Center to get started on a self-guided tour of nine of the sculptures. The revitalized downtown has shops and boutiques, such as the new Sterling Creatives art co-op, and restaurants, including the excellent Old Town Bistro, Sam and Louieâ€™s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, and Simkins Parlour. The new Parts and Labor Brewing Co. is the first craft brewery to open on Coloradoâ€™s Eastern Plains. The Overland Trail Museum assembles a vast collection of artifacts and compelling exhibits, with a modern facility joined by a host of historic buildings. A diorama depicts the Battle of Summit Springs, where Buffalo Bill Cody helped lead the charge in the last big fight between the U.S. cavalry and Plains Indians in Colorado, just south of Sterling in 1869. Sterling has two 18-hole golf courses, numerous city parks and vibrant festivals, including July Jamz, a free summer concert series each Friday in July.
holes of golf in Sterling area
campsites at North Sterling State Park
9 Bradford Rhea tree
sculptures on art tour
The guides of Sterling outfitter Sandy Hills Hunting Co. take rifle, muzzleloader and bow hunters to areas known to have mature mule deer and antelope. They also offer special film packages, bringing a cameraman along to record the hunt and produce a souvenir DVD. Lodging is available at several nearby hotels. 970-580-0441.
The company Wisdom Rides in Merino is one of the nation’s leading makers of carnival rides.
North Sterling State Park The expansive North Sterling Reservoir is a prized getaway, surrounded by golden grassland on all sides, with scenic bluffs to the north. Boating is popular in the summer, and campgrounds are available year-round. The six-mile trail system is great for hikes or bike rides, and leashed dogs are allowed. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in-season, while anglers find plentiful wiper, walleye and catfish, along with rainbow trout and both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Birdwatchers find herons, pelicans, hawks, eagles and more. An archery range is free to use. 970-522-3657. City Parks, Sterling Sterling has 60 acres of parks, including some with trails and paths. Pioneer Park is the largest, with multiple playgrounds, a disc golf course, tennis, sand volleyball and basketball courts, grassy space and a wooded area with a walking path. Prairie Park, the newest park, shares a parking lot with the Sterling Recreation Center, which features an outdoor water park from Memorial Day through early August. Overland Trail Recreation Area has a fishing pond with a trail around it and is the only park that allows off-leash dogs. 970-522-9700. Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway This byway traverses a shortgrass prairie that’s home to coyotes, pronghorn, kit foxes and many bird species. Standing out amid the wide-open landscape are the Pawnee Buttes, which tower over the Pawnee National Grassland. The three-hour, 128-mile loop travels along Highway 14 west of Sterling and Highway 52 north of Fort Morgan. 970-353-5004.
Logan County Shooting Sports Complex This new, 300-acre facility offers trap shooting, archery, rifle and pistol ranges, boasting a 1,000-yard range. Shooters can get annual memberships, but day passes are available to the general public for reasonable rates. 970-522-0888.
Boaters love the large reservoir at North Sterling State Park, Logan County’s favorite outdoor destination. Hikers and bikers take to the six-mile trail system, campers pitch tents at 141 campsites and anglers hook walleye, catfish, trout and bass.
Bronze sculptures of pioneers stand on Courthouse Square at the center of downtown Sterling. Many of the historic buildings in this revitalized area are home to shops, boutiques and restaurants, such as the Old Town Bistro inside the old Bill’s Motor Co. building.
Culture A trip to Sterling isn’t complete without stopping at the Overland Trail Museum. Well-designed exhibits tell stories of local history, from American Indians to rural electrification. The museum has historic structures to visit, including a schoolhouse, barbershop, country store and church. Artifacts include farm machinery and the ever-popular two-headed calf. 970-522-3895.
Sculptor Bradford Rhea’s fanciful tree sculptures gave rise to Sterling’s renown as the City of Living Trees. Rhea’s wood sculptures, as well as some that have been recast in bronze, are situated at various city landmarks. Get a map for a self-guided sculpture tour at the Logan County Visitor Center. 970-522-8962. The 54-building, eight-square-block
Downtown Sterling Historic District – featuring the Sterling Creatives art co-op, Parts & Labor Brewery, Old Town Bistro and Sam & Louie’s – is adorned with 20 artistic murals. The historic district represents Sterling’s rich pioneer heritage and is deemed so significant that it’s now on the National Register of Historic Places. 970-522-8962.
12 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Kids walk on water inside massive inflatable balls during Sterling’s Sugar Beet Days, the long-running festival that fills the city with music, food and fun activities for all ages.
Riverview Golf Club Consistently voted one of the top golf courses in Northeast Colorado, and boasting excellent greens, Riverview blends championship golf with affordability. The course features a natural grass driving range, relaxed atmosphere and professional instruction. There’s a pro shop, practice facilities and a fully stocked bar and grill. 970-522-3035. Northeastern 18 Located on a 155-acre oasis just west of Sterling, Northeastern 18 is the oldest course in Northeast Colorado, distinguished by mature landscaping, rolling hills, water features on nine out of 18 holes and challenging greens for the experienced golfer, including driving range, practice putting green and practice chipping green with sand bunker. 970-522-2836.
F&H Golf Course Once a cow pasture in a previous incarnation, Fleming’s F&H Park Golf Course spotlights a mostly flat terrain with few hills, making it a delight to walk. Marty Johnson designed this public course, which features three sets of tees for different skill levels. The course measures 3,261 yards from the longest tees. 970-774-6362.
Tread for Trails Bike Ride – Sterling Usually second weekend in May. Take a bicycle tour of Sterling to raise money for new trails around town. 970-522-9700.
Tri on the Plains – Sterling June. Run, bike and swim at North Sterling State Park’s triathlon. 970-580-1970.
Sterling Xpress Baseball – Sterling June and July. Watch the competitive collegiate players of the Rocky Mountain Baseball League. 970-522-8962.
Rod Run in the Park – Sterling Weekend after July 4. A great gathering of classic cars in Pioneer Park. 970-522-7763. Logan County Fair – Sterling August. Rodeo, demolition derby, big music acts, rides and more. 970-522-8481. Fleming Fall Festival – Fleming Second weekend in September. Cooks and crafters of this small town help celebrate their town’s century mark. 970-265-2692.
Young Farmers Tractor Pull – Sterling Father’s Day weekend. Dad will love to see these tractors in action. 970-522-8962.
Sugar Beet Days – Sterling Third weekend in September. A festival weekend full of music, food and arts and crafts vendors. 970-522-2277.
Heritage Festival – Sterling July 4. The Overland Trail Museum celebrates with historical demonstrations, music and more. 970-522-3895.
Christmas Light Parade – Sterling First Thursday in December. Santa rides in a parade, and the fire department has a bonfire with s’mores. 970-522-5070.
July Jamz – Sterling Each Friday in July. Bands perform free concerts at Logan County Courthouse Square, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. 970-522-8962.
Merino Fall Festival – Merino First weekend in October. Old-time tractors lead a parade while people enjoy food, music and fun. 970-520-1662.
Town & Country
On Friday and Saturday evenings, Sterling Creatives artist co-op (120 N. Fourth St.) showcases the handiwork of talented local artists and craftspeople.
See Bradford Rhea’s incredible tree sculptures, visit downtown Sterling’s cute shops and pan for gold at the Overland Trail Museum.
Eat a great breakfast at the J&L Cafe, a greasy spoon in the best sense of the term; this all-American diner has been a Sterling favorite since the 1930s. 423 N. Third St., 970-522-3625.
Hike the three-mile South Trail along the beautiful shoreline of North Sterling Reservoir. Swim at Cottonwood Cove, go fishing or bring your boat for fun on the big lake. 24005 County Road 330. Call 970-522-3657 to arrange a guided birdwatching walk.
Old Town Bistro, a modern eatery, has become a Sterling staple since opening in the historic Bill’s Motor Co. building. Lunch options include the ribeye sandwich and caprese salad. 402 Main St., 970-526-5402.
The Overland Trail Museum is a fun way to experience Sterling history through interactive exhibits, cool artifacts and historic buildings. 110 Overland Trail, (970) 522-3895.
Visit the Logan County Visitor Center to start a tour of sculptures artist Bradford Rhea carved from dead trees. 102 N. Riverview Road, 970-522-8962.
Continue your afternoon by shopping down Main Street. Stores are full of artisan gifts, antiques, clothing boutiques and tasty treats. Veer off to Oak Street to sample the goods at the Colorado Popcorn Co.
Have a pizza or homemade lasagna at Sam & Louie’s Italian Restaurant. Dessert is just a few doors down at Simkins Parlor, where they serve cones of faniciful ice cream flavors, in addition to classic flavors. Finish the night with a brew or two just around the corner at Northeast Colorado’s only craft brewery, Parts & Labor Brewing Co. 310 Main St., 970-526-2550; 316 Main St., 970-522-0896; 402 Main St., Suite B, 970-425-7540.
kron and Washington County boast fresh air, wide open skies and friendly faces. Out of Colorado’s 63 counties, Washington County ranks No. 2 for wheat production.
Nesting bald eagles can be seen year-round at Prewitt Reservoir State Wildlife Area, which also has camping, boating and opportunities to hunt waterfowl, pheasants, quail and deer. The lake spreads across most of the wildlife area’s 3,000 acres and is surrounded by trees, grassland and wetlands. Unless someone discovers a bald eagle that plays baseball and bakes apple pie, there’s nothing more quintessentially American than Mom’s Kitchen Cafe in Otis, where you can get country-fried steak and cinnamon rolls that have been voted the region’s best. The volunteer fire department in Otis puts on a spectacular Fourth of July celebration with a great fireworks show. Five Star Dining and Grill in Akron serves great American and Mexican food, while Cornerstone Coffee and Latte Da’ are favorites for breakfast and lunch. The Washington County Golf Club has a nine-hole course that draws golfers from more than 100 miles away. Later in the summer in Akron is the Eastern Colorado Roundup, a county fair with carnival rides, fun fair food, animal exhibits and an always impressive headlining musical act.
200 cinnamon rolls sold weekly at Mom’s Kitchen Cafe in Otis
acres of winter wheat planted annually vintage Ferris wheel at eastern Colorado roundup 42 -foot-tall
Snow geese fill the skies near Prewitt Reservoir State Wildlife Area in Washington County.
Eastern Colorado Roundup • Prewitt Reservoir • Mom’s Kitchen Cafe
in Washington County AKRON | OTIS | LAST CHANCE | ARICKAREE | COPE LINDON | WOODROW | PLATNER
Washington County Golf Club Following the natural contours of the land, this nine-hole public course has small, fast greens that keep you thinking and pleasantly shaded tee areas. The signature sixth hole has an elevated tee that makes you “thread the needle” across a ravine. 970-345-2309.
Waterslides delight children each summer at the Akron Swimming Pool at 382 Elm Ave.
Deer, pheasant and greater prairie chickens are found near Akron. There are many public walk-in access hunting areas. For an up-to-date list of walkin hunting sites, visit cpw.state.co.us. Public hunting is also available at Messex and Prewitt Reservoir state wildlife areas. For general questions about hunting in Northeast Colorado, contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife Northeast Region at 303-291-7227.
Fourth of July – Otis Otis puts on one of the area’s biggest fireworks shows, preceded by the Thunder on the Plains doubles volleyball tournament, a water balloon fight and epic tug of war. 970-246-3235.
Akron Car Show – Akron Last Saturday in June. Entry in this non-judged car show is just $5 for a day of classic rides, food and fun. 970-345-2624.
Eastern Colorado Roundup – Akron Last week in July. Fair food, a Ferris wheel and tiny train for kids, rodeo, animal exhibits, country music stars and tractor pull. 970-345-2760.
Fun Fact Any car, whether it’s a classic or a beater, can enter the Akron Car Show for just $5.
18 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
On the prairie north of Akron is the site of the 1869 Battle of Summit Springs, a dramatic Indian Wars showdown.
You have to time your visit just right to catch the Washington County Museum when it’s open – Sundays in June, July and August, 2-4 p.m. – but it’s worth a trip. Historic buildings include the country schoolhouse, a rock house that contained the original city hall, well and jail, the original Akron railroad depot and the dormitory where railroad workers stayed. Helpful volunteers are stationed throughout the museum grounds to explain the significance behind the many artifacts on display. 970-345-6529. The climax of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was the reenactment of the Battle of Summit Springs. Complete with cavalry charge, a famous Indian chief and the rescue of captive women, the battle seemed too melodramatic to be true – but it was, and Buffalo Bill Cody really did play a starring role. By 1869, most Plains tribes in Colorado had agreed to peace terms with the U.S. government – but not the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. Led by Chief Tall Bull, the Dog Soldiers were some of the most feared warriors in this part of the country, traveling at will across the Plains, impeding construction of the Kansas Pacific Railway to Denver and attacking settlements. The 5th U.S. Cavalry spent a month trying to catch up with the Dog Soldiers’ constantly moving village of 84 lodges, which included men, women and children. Buffalo Bill and a group of Pawnee Scouts helped the cavalry surprise the village on the afternoon of July 11, 1869. By fight’s end, Tall Bull and about 50 of his people were dead, and the rest of the village scattered. It was to be the last major Indian fight on the Colorado Plains. Today, the battlefield has two monuments and some interpretive markers on the prairie between Akron and Sterling. From Akron, take Highway 63 north for 19 miles. Turn right on County Road 2/County Road 60, which forms the border between Logan and Washington counties. Continue 4 miles, following as the road turns right for another mile.
Towering grain silos in downtown Akron testify to Washington County’s status as the state’s No. 2 wheat producer. NORTHEASTCOLORADOTOURISM.COM |
The historic Washington County Courthouse sits at the heart of downtown Akron. The edifice, built in 1910, was designed by prominent Colorado architect John J. Huddart.
Prewitt Reservoir The lake takes up most of this state wildlife areaâ€™s 3,000 acres, with the water surrounded by trees, grassland and wetlands. The nesting bald eagles are a favorite for birdwatchers. There are campgrounds with primitive restrooms, a boat ramp, picnic areas and hiking trails. 970-842-6300.
20 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Watch hot rods burn up the track at the Julesburg Drag Strip, then get going in your own automobile on the South Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway.
See the plains in the fast lane 1
Take a drive down the 19-mile South Platte River Trail Scenic & Historic Byway, a fun and beautiful way to get a taste of Julesburg’s exciting Old West history. 20934 County Road 28, Julesburg, 970-474-2054.
When your byway tour hits Ovid, take a slight detour to Sedgwick for lunch at Lucy’s Place, a beloved local hangout with great, locally raised bison burgers and homemade pie. 10646 Highway 59, 970-463-5509.
The Fort Sedgwick Museum has exhibits about the old Army post and the town’s four different locations. The Depot Museum explores Julesburg’s days as a Pony Express home station and railroad town. The Old Ford Garage has vintage cars, antique gas pumps and other motor memorabilia. 114 E. First St.; 970-474-2061, 201 W. First St.; 970-474-2264, 112 E. First St.; 970-474-2061.
Located at the Julesburg Municipal Airport, the Julesburg Drag Strip is the oldest NHRA track in the nation and has exciting races on most summer weekends.17454 U.S. Highway 138, 970-520-5034.
For supper, stop for green chili or an expertly cooked steak at Big B’s Bar & Grill, one of the most popular restaurants in this corner of the state. 217 Main St., Ovid, 970-520-4142.
The architecturally significant old-time movie palace Hippodrome Arts Centre has entertained folks in Julesburg since 1919. First-run movies play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. 215 Cedar St., 970-474-9977, hippodromeartscentre.com.
Pony Express • Drag Racing South Platte River Trail Scenic & Historic Byway
in Sedgwick County JULESBURG | SEDGWICK | OVID A monument at the Colorado Welcome Center at Julesburg honors the city’s bygone Pony Express station.
he Old West spirit is alive and well at the far northeast corner of Colorado in Sedgwick County. Julesburg, once considered the wickedest city in the West, was the site of Coloradoâ€™s only Pony Express home station.
A teenage Buffalo Bill Cody began his wild career as a Pony Express rider here. The city had rough beginnings: Plains Indians once burned the town to the ground. Visitors can learn the exciting story of the unruly frontier days, including the deadly gunfight between town namesake Jules Beni and Capt. Jack Slade, at the Fort Sedgwick Historical Societyâ€™s museums. The 19-mile South Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway has beautiful views and 11 informative signs that give insight on the land and history. The byway begins at the Colorado Welcome Center at Julesburg, which has knowledgeable staff and 400 brochures to guide you to area attractions. In downtown Julesburg, the Hippodrome Arts Centre is an architecturally delightful 1919 movie theater that plays firstrun movies and hosts interesting events. Just west of town at the municipal airport is the Julesburg Drag Strip, which has been a popular destination for roaring engines, burning rubber and speedy thrills since the 1950s. People seeking serenity enjoy DePoorter Lake, which has shady trees just south of the business district. Jumbo Reservoir State Wildlife Area is great for boating, fishing and camping.
19 miles of the
South Platte River Trail Scenic & Historic Byway
400 different brochures at the Colorado Welcome Center at Julesburg
4 town sites
Julesburg has occupied since the 1850s
Hunting With plentiful waterfowl, pheasant and deer, there are many public walk-in access hunting areas near Julesburg. For an up-to date list of walk-in hunting sites, visit cpw.state. co.us. Public hunting is also available at Pony Express, Sand Draw and Sedgwick state wildlife areas. For general questions about hunting in Northeast Colorado, contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife Northeast Region at 303-291-7227.
Jumbo Reservoir Also known as Julesburg Reservoir, this 1,200-acre lake west of Sedgwick is a popular destination for boating, camping and fishing for trout, crappie, carp, smallmouth bass, saugeye, walleye, channel catfish and bluegill. Swimming is allowed in the clear water, though there are no designated swimming areas. The wooded areas nearby are a good place to see local wildlife. 970-842-6300. Built in 1919, the Hippodrome Arts Centre hosts first-run movies and events.
BEST HISTORICAL GEM:
Hippodrome Theatre Culture
The Hippodrome Arts Centre, a beautifully restored, nearly century-old theater, offers a true small-town cinema experience with great prices, comfortable seating and current-run movies, including 3D. The theater is also the hub of Sedgwick County arts and culture. 970-474-9977. The jointly run Fort Sedgwick Museum and Depot Museum are located a short distance from one another. Until 1979, the Depot was a Union Pacific railroad depot, so naturally it features plenty of Union Pacific railroad memorabilia, as well as Pony Express history and early pioneer artifacts, including curiosities like a human vertebrae with Indian arrowhead lodged inside. The Fort Sedgwick Museum honors the history of both pioneer and Native American Sedgwick County residents during each of the town’s four successive incarnations. 970-474-2061. The Old Ford Garage is a privately owned antique car collection housed in what was originally a 1908 Ford dealership. The museum spotlights an impressive collection of vintage cars, photographs and gasoline pumps. Call the Fort Sedgwick Museum at 970-474-2061 for admission. 24 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
South Platte River Trail Scenic & Historic Byway Starting from the Colorado Welcome Center at Julesburg, this 19-mile drive is the state’s shortest scenic byway, but it packs in a lot of nature and history. Stop along the way for interpretive signs at the sites of the original town of Julesburg, the location of Colorado’s only Pony Express home station and the site of Fort Sedgwick, of Dances with Wolves fame. 970-474-2054.
Sedgwick County Golf Club Located three miles north of Julesburg, the delightfully relaxed and informal nine-hole Sedgwick County public course features grass greens with buffalo grass fairways, affordable user fees and membership dues, as well as available cart rentals. Best of all, no tee times are required. 970-474-3344.
More than 34,000 pieces of mail passed through Julesburg’s Pony Express home station during its 19 months in operation.
Interpretive signs guide travelers along the 19-mile South Platte River Trail Scenic and Historic Byway. The shortest of the state’s 26 byways packs a lot into an hour’s drive, with some stops that showcase colorful stories from the Old West days and others that spotlight the natural beauty of the South Platte River.
Pony Express Re-ride – Julesburg Mid-June. Horseback riders recreate the legendary frontier mail route, which had a home station in Julesburg. 970-474-2054. Bull Bash and Fry – Julesburg Late June. Eat Rocky Mountain oysters if you’re brave, or hot dogs and burgers, while enjoying live music and playing games at the county fairgrounds. 970-474-2054.
Ovid Days – Ovid July. Experience small-town America with a street dance, duck race, live music, carnival, bazaar, horseshoe tournament, and bar and restaurant specials. 970-463-5446. Sedgwick County Fair – Julesburg Late July/early August. See animal shows and exhibits, and catch the demolition derby, mutton bustin’, parade, kids’ games and more. 970-474-2054.
Sedgwick Harvest Festival – Sedgwick Labor Day weekend. A street fair, dancing, barbecue, demolition derby, parade, kids’ rodeo and ranch rodeo are favorite events here. 970-474-2054.
Pumpkin Fest – Julesburg October. Children search for prizes hidden in haystacks, bob for apples and take home a free pumpkin. 970-474-2054. Holiday Open House – Julesburg November. Begin your holiday shopping with this local crafts fair at the Hippodrome Arts Centre. 970-474-9977. Parade of Lights – Julesburg Second Monday in December. This illuminated holiday parade has floats with people aboard tossing candy to kids in the crowd. 970-474-2054.
Julesburg Drag Strip The roar of engines and the smell of burning rubber fill the air at the Julesburg Drag Strip, which combines history with speed as the oldest track in the NHRA, founded in 1953. Located just west of Julesburg at the Julesburg Municipal Airport, the drag strip was organized by the Platte Valley Customs Club and has been a favorite pastime for generations of fans throughout the region. Late April through October, first and third Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. time trials, 1 p.m. eliminations. julesburgdragracing.com; 970-520-5034.
he towns of Holyoke and Haxtun are inviting communities full of rural charm. The pheasants fly in the surrounding farm fields of Phillips County, one of Northeast Colorado’s hunting hotspots.
Downtown Holyoke has preserved much of its rich cultural heritage. The Phillips County Historical Society Museum has engaging exhibits that use unique artifacts to tell the stories of some of the more colorful local residents of days gone by. The Peerless Theatre offers movies and more in a venue harking back to the golden age of cinema. The historic Burge Hotel, which opened in 1887, gives travelers comfortable rooms with a unique sense of place – be sure to check out the historic fireplace in the lobby, which is embedded with stones and artifacts from across the country. Homegrown restaurants Happy Jack’s Barbeque, The Skillet and Heidi’s keep locals and travelers well fed. Favorite local events include the Dandelion Daze car show in June and the Phillips County Fair in July. Racing fans flock to the Phillips County Raceway, where cars speed around the semibanked, half-mile clay oval; the track has an extensive new P.A. system, improved lighting and concession stand. Hunting is big in Phillips County, and local outfitters can help plan pheasant expeditions in the area. The Ballyneal Hunt Club is a major attraction, with a remarkable acreage in the Chop Hills for pheasant hunting. Newman Adventures also specializes in pheasant hunts. Both Ballyneal and Newman Adventures offer fine dining and lodging.
12 sites on national/ state register of historic places
acres public walk-in hunting
year Haxtun Corn Festival began
Pheasant Hunting â€˘ Historic Burge Hotel Phillips County Raceway
Holyoke & Haxtun in Phillips County HOLYOKE | HAXTUN | AMHERST | PAOLI
Dawnâ€™s first rays cast a golden glow on a grain elevator in Holyoke. The farm fields that surround this agricultural community provide food and a home for a large pheasant population, which draws a large hunter population each fall.
Legacy Event – Holyoke February. The Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation hosts a themed gala (Roaring ’20s, James Bond, etc.) as a hospital fundraiser. 970-580-2238.
Phillips County Art Show – Holyoke Late March/early April. The best artists and artisans of Northeast Colorado and beyond show their paintings, sculpture, jewelry and more. 970-580-1939.
Dandelion Daze – Holyoke Third weekend in June. Family-fun festival includes kids’ activities, car show, food and vendors. 970-854-3517.
Phillips County Fair – Holyoke Third week in July. Livestock, rodeo, arts and crafts, live music and beer garden mark a week of fun. 970-854-2454. Haxtun Corn Festival – Haxtun Last Saturday in September. Join us for a parade, street games, kiddie land and vendors. Finish the night off with a street dance featuring live music. 970-467-0194.
Holly Daze – Holyoke Saturday before Halloween. More than 100 vendors sell their artisanal wares at this arts and crafts show at Holyoke High School. 970-854-3517. Country Christmas – Holyoke First Monday in December. Kids take photos with Santa, go on hayrides and watch a movie, while vendors keep spirits bright. 970-854-3517. 28 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
The Peerless Theater, an old-time movie house in Holyoke, is part of the Peerless Center, which also hosts a performance stage, dance studio and basketball court. It is one of a number of historic buildings in downtown Holyoke.
Culture A classic small-town movie theater with great service, seating and concessions, the Peerless Theater in Holyoke – now part of the Peerless Center – features current movies with what might be the best sound system in Northeast Colorado. There’s lots to do here, since the center also houses a dance studio, basketball court, performance stage and pool table. 970-854-3545. A mysterious will, an unexpected bequest and the devotion of civic groups added up to a most singular public library: Holyoke’s Heginbotham Library, housed in a beautiful Craftsman mansion, featuring events such as story time, summer reading programs, a Christmas extravaganza, book bonanza and an oldfashioned movie night. 970-854-2597. A prairie schoolhouse, the 1920s Reimer-Smith Oil Station (a perfectly restored canopy-style gas station) and a remarkable Model A Ford known as Miss Nancy Belle are all part of the Phillips County Museum, which features the thrilling story of the 1915 Haxtun bank robbery, as well as accounts of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl days. 970-854-2129.
Fun Fact Holyoke’s public library occupies the former home of late local millionaire W.E. Heginbotham.
Homesteaders Park This park at the county fairground has a one-mile walking path around a grassy area, a disc golf course and a fun water feature for children to splash around in during summer. 970-854-3517; 970-854-4175.
Holyoke Golf Club Open to the public and convenient to Holyoke, this hidden gem of a public nine-hole course offers two sets of tees for different skill levels and a clubhouse. 970-854-3200.
Phillips County Raceway Nonstop action awaits dirt fans just north of Holyoke on this semibanked, half-mile clay oval. An extensive new P.A. system, improved lighting and concession stand make this raceway better than ever, with top-notch drivers, a challenging track and plenty of excitement. April through September, first and third Fridays, 7:30 p.m., plus special events. bstracing.com; 720-404-0400. Discover cute shops and boutiques in Holyoke. The Reimer-Smith Oil Station, a 1920s gas station restored inside and out to look just as it did nearly a century ago, is part of the collection at Holyokeâ€™s Phillips County Museum.
Pheasant, chukar and quail make their home on Newman Adventures’ 7,000 acres of natural hunting land and 3,000 acres of preserve. Upland bird hunts start in September and continue through April. The facility near Holyoke provides meals, beds and entertainment. The daily double includes a morning hunt on the preserve and an afternoon of golfing at a private course. 970-520-3916. Pheasants thrive in the native grasses and grain fields of Ballyneal Hunt Club’s thousands of acres in the rugged Chop Hills. Guided hunts are available October through April. The resort, located near Ballyneal’s private golf course, includes several lodges and fine dining. 970-854-5900. There are many public walkin access hunting areas near Holyoke. For an up-to-date list of walk-in hunting sites, visit cpw. state.co.us. Public hunting is also available at Frenchman Creek and Holyoke state wildlife areas. For general questions about hunting in Northeast Colorado, contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife Northeast Region at 303-291-7227.
30 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
See 118 barn quilts in Morgan County and browse 3,000 bolts of fabric at Rainbow Fabric & Crafts in Wray.
take the quilt trail
In late June, downtown Wray hosts Quilts of the Plains, a large outdoor quilt show. Call the Wray Chamber at 970-332-3484 for this year’s event date.
Grab a breakfast biscuit at La La’s Bakery & Espresso Bar, a cute downtown coffee shop. Closed Sun. 301 Main St., Wray; 970 332-5252.
Browse 3,000 bolts at Rainbow Fabric & Crafts to find the perfect fabric for your next quilt. This store and the others listed here participate in the Row by Row Experience; request a free pattern for a quilt row, then assemble the rows for a unique quilt. Closed Sun. 409 Main St., Wray; 970-332-4343.
Stop for lunch at Happy Jack’s Barbeque in Holyoke. Make sure to try the pulled pork sandwich at this much-loved local spot. Open Wed.-Sat. 130 E. Denver St., Holyoke; 970-854-7202.
The folks at Creative Traditions focus exclusively on quilting, and their enthusiasm is contagious. There’s an “open sew” in the store each Monday, where quilters bring in their projects to work on and, if needed, get free expert advice. Closed Sun. 115 S. Interocean Ave., Holyoke; 970-854-3699.
Inspirations Quilt Shop has a wide selection of fabrics, with a great assortment of bright colors – pinks, oranges, yellows. Grab a barn quilt map here. Located right across the street from a playground and the Fort Morgan Library and Museum. Closed Sun. 423 Main St., Fort Morgan; 970-542-0810.
Take a barn quilt tour. Follow a map down pretty country roads to spot 118 colorful quilts painted onto Morgan County barns. It’s like treasure hunting for quilts! Get details at the Inspirations shop or mcbarnquilts.blogspot.com.
Finish the day with dinner at Cables Pub & Grill, famous for their gourmet pizzas. The tangy red sauce, mozzarella and fresh toppings taste great whether you opt for the Neapolitan thin crust or Sicilian thick crust. 903 Main St., Fort Morgan; 970-867-1115. NORTHEASTCOLORADOTOURISM.COM |
Prairie Chicken Tours • Prehistoric Bison • Vintage Farm Machines
Yuma & Wray in Yuma County YUMA | WRAY | ECKLEY | IDALIA JOES | KIRK | HALE | VERNON
arming is a billion-dollar business in Yuma County, the second-most agriculturally productive county in the state. Water from the vast Ogallala Aquifer feeds the farms that lie between the city of Yuma in the west and Wray in the east. Yuma County is the state’s No. 1 producer of corn and hogs, and it is the No. 2 producer of cattle. The bounty of this land feeds the people of Colorado – and it has done so since ancient times.
An incredible Smithsonian-created exhibit at the Wray Museum tells the story of the Jones-Miller Bison Kill Site, where 10,000 years ago Paleo-Indians drove herds of an extinct bison species into an arroyo, where they killed and butchered the massive beasts. On display in the museum are some of the 41,000 bones and hundreds of prehistoric weapons and tools that archaeologists uncovered at the site near Wray. The museum also sheds light on the 1868 Battle of Beecher Island, in which 50 U.S. cavalrymen, surrounded on an island in the Arikaree River, held off a much larger force of Plains Indians for nine days. Nearby are the scenic Arikaree Breaks badlands formations and the Three Corners tripoint, where visitors can stand in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska at the same time. The city of Yuma makes the days of farming past come alive during Old Threshers Days in early September, when century-old farm machines are put to work at the county fairground. In a lovely green space at the heart of town is Lake Yuma, a home for paddling ducks and a reflecting pool for the towering grain elevator.
The Smithsonian helped create the Wray Museum’s exhibit on the major discovery of Bison antiquus fossils unearthed near the city. PaleoIndians hunted this now-extinct species, larger than modern bison.
3 states meet at
Three Corners (Colo.-Kan.-Neb.)
prehistoric bones unearthed at Jones-Miller Bison Kill Site
kilometers in Yuma’s walk/run
34 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Fun Fact Each spring, eastern Yuma County is the site of breeding grounds, or leks, for greater prairie chickens. Call 970-332-3484 for info on birdwatching tours in March and April. Culture A remarkable collection of ancient bison fossils and Paleo-Indian stone artifacts, unearthed with help from the Smithsonian, is housed in the Wray Museum – a collection so notable, it’s one of the few Smithsonian exhibits housed outside Washington, D.C. The trophy room, with plenty of lions and bears, is always a kids’ favorite, while the Beecher Island Room recounts the hair-raising story of the 1868 Battle of Beecher Island, where 50 cavalrymen barely held off an attack by hundreds of Plains Indians over the course of nine days. 970-332-5063. Three Corners, southeast of Wray, is the tripoint where Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska meet. While it has one fewer corner than the more famous Four Corners, and there are no trinkets to be bought, it’s still pretty cool to stand in three states at the same time. It’s also cheaper – that is, free – to get into than Four Corners. Travel east from Wray on Highway 34, then turn right on County Road RR (the last turn before the Kansas border). Go south four miles, then east one mile on County Road 31. The final dirt track to the tripoint is a half mile. The Arikaree Breaks, the unusual badlands features in this area, are also fun to explore.
Hunting There are large numbers of pheasant and greater prairie chicken in Yuma County, which offers public walk-in access hunting areas. For an up-to-date list of walk-in hunting sites, visit cpw.state.co.us. Many acres of public hunting are also available at Arikaree, Sandsage, Simmons, South Republican, Stalker Lake and Willow Creek state wildlife areas, and Landsman Creek and Sand Bluffs state trust lands. Wray is home to the Wray State Fishing Unit. For general questions about hunting in Northeast Colorado, contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife Northeast Region at 303-291-7227.
Indian Hills Golf Course and Country Club With three sets of tees for different skill levels, a driving range and a practice putting green, Yuma’s nine-hole Indian Hills course includes the Caddy Shack for snacks, soft drinks and cart rental – all open to the public. 970-848-8250.
Wray Country Club One of Colorado’s best nine-hole courses, this fun and challenging regulation-length public golf course was designed by noted architect Frank Hummel. It includes two sets of tees for different skill levels. 970-332-5934.
Stalker Lake Located right next to Wray’s state fish hatchery, 27-acre Stalker Lake is one of the best places in the state to catch largemouth bass. 303-291-7227. Lake Yuma The heart of the city of Yuma is Lake Yuma. A half-mile walking path goes by popular picnic spots, a playground, gazebo and a train caboose next to the museum. 970-848-2704.
Lake Yuma is a peaceful spot in the middle of Yuma. Ducks love the water, which also serves as a reflecting pool for the grain elevator. NORTHEASTCOLORADOTOURISM.COM |
At Old Threshers Days in Yuma, the vintage farm machines quite literally have a lot of horsepower. The three-day event also features steam-powered equipment and antique tractor races.
Greater Prairie Chicken Tours – Wray March and April. Birdwatchers flock to the leks of this Colorado wild grouse to see their mating dances and hear their unmistakable song. 970-332-3484.
5:10 to Yuma Road Race – Yuma June. In a naming spoof of the 1957 Western classic movie, Yuma puts on a 5k/10k walk/run travels through the pretty countryside around Yuma, ending with Oskar Blues beer and unique finisher medals. 970-848-2704.
Quilts of the Plains – Wray Saturday after Father’s Day. Quilts are displayed outside Main Street storefronts, joined by antique quilts indoors and a vendor mall. 970-332-3484. Third of July Bash – Yuma July 3. Get a jump on Independence Day with free food, live music and a fireworks show. 970-848-2704.
Wray Daze – Wray Last full weekend in July. Main Street is lined with food, crafts and games, including a beer garden, free barbecue and car show. 970-332-3484.
Yuma County Fair – Yuma Starts first weekend in August. Rodeos, carnival rides, a parade and 4-H and FFA exhibits. 970-848-2704. Old Threshers Days – Yuma Starts Thursday after Labor Day. Three days of vintage threshing, log sawing and corn shelling demonstrations. 970-848-2704. Winter Festival – Yuma Friday/Saturday before Thanksgiving. Lights twinkle around pretty Lake Yuma, vendors sell crafts, kids meet Santa and go on wagon rides. 970-848-2704. 36 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Christmas Festival – Wray Thanksgiving weekend. The Parade of Lights is on Friday; Breakfast with Santa is Saturday at 8 a.m., featuring free donuts, juice and coffee. 970-332-3484.
Miracle on Main Street – Yuma Early December. Holiday magic includes shopping specials, Santa, entertainment, movies, food and a festival of trees. 970-848-2704.
38 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
Barn Quilts • Rainbow Arch Bridge • Jackson Lake State Park
Fort Morgan in Morgan County FORT MORGAN | BRUSH | WIGGINS LOG LANE VILLAGE | HILLROSE ORCHARD | GOODRICH | SNYDER
nchored by county seat Fort Morgan, Morgan County is the gateway to Northeast Colorado for people traveling from Denver and the Front Range.
Fort Morgan is famed as the childhood home of music legend Glenn Miller. Visitors can learn about his life and the history of the area at the expertly curated Fort Morgan Museum. Fort Morgan’s beautiful Rainbow Arch Bridge over the South Platte River was built in 1923 and has remained a treasured city icon ever since. Near the bridge is Riverside Park, where locals love to unwind – and perhaps play a little disc golf on the excellent course. For those who favor golf of the ball-and-clubs variety, Quail Dunes Golf Course has 18 holes on a beautiful prairie landscape that doubles as an Audubon wildlife sanctuary for eagles, deer, pheasants and more. For faster and noisier fun, the I-76 Speedway is a major attraction for racing fans. A popular self-guided tour sends travelers searching for Morgan County’s dozens of barn quilts, which are large, painted quilt blocks that farmers have hung on their barns for decoration. A full list of barn quilt locations is available at mcbarnquilts.blogspot.com. The town of Brush comes alive on July 2-4 each year for the Brush Fourth of July Parade and Rodeo. The long-running Oktoberfest has no shortage of beer, brats and bands in September. The East Morgan County Library hosts the seasonal People’s Market on Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., offering a bounty of locally grown produce and other goodies. Wiggins is home to the Longmeadow Game Resort and Event Center, a sportsman’s paradise with opportunities to hunt elk and white-tailed deer, coyotes and prairie dogs, ducks and geese, and pheasants, doves and turkeys. Near Orchard, Jackson Lake State Park offers boating, fishing and one of the top 15 park beaches in the United States.
The Rainbow Arch Bridge over the South Platte River has been a Fort Morgan icon since 1923. Nearby is Riverside Park, with a swimming pool, disc golf course and more. Farmers grow sugar beets destined for Fort Morgan’s sugar factory.
118 barn quilts
22 Arches in Rainbow Arch Bridge
3 Disc Golf Courses
Quail Dunes Golf Course Designated an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, nearly a third of Quail Dunes’ 165-acre course is native area where golfers might spot eagles, hawks, deer, quail, pheasant and coyotes. The traditional, 18-hole golf course features a variety of terrain, scenic views, challenging tee shots and two distinct nines, as well as a pro shop, the Covey Grill and practice areas. 970-867-5990. The Course at Petteys Park A superb nine-hole course, the Brush course in Petteys Park is full of both beauty and challenge. In addition to the well-maintained greens, the course features a driving range, practice green, pro shop and on-site golf pro. The Course Cafe and Lounge is open Tuesday-Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, on Sunday for breakfast and lunch; the bar is open daily. 970-842-5470.
The interactive Fort Morgan Museum has exhibits tracing the city’s history from Plains Indian culture to memorabilia from famous swing bandleader Glenn Miller, who grew up here. 970-542-4010. The Brush People’s Market has musicians, food and many interesting vendors next to the library in Brush, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., early August through early October. 970-842-2666. Morgan Community College’s CACE Gallery inspires with an art gallery, art-related workshops, concerts, speakers and poets. 970-542-3100. Brush Area Museum & Cultural Center in the historic Knearl School has an annual history camp, monthly sack luncheon programs, Molly Brown’s piano and a mammoth skull. 970-542-5280.
Philip K. Dick Festival – Fort Morgan March. Fans of sci-fi author Philip K. Dick gather to celebrate his work and visit his grave in Riverside Cemetery. PKDFestivalFM@gmail.com. 970-542-3508. International Music Festival – Fort Morgan April. Celebrate the diverse cultures of Morgan County with wordly music, dancing and food. 970-370-2990.
SRAC Rocky Mountain Showdown – Brush Memorial Day weekend. Watch exciting motocross racers kick up dirt at the Sweney Cycle Park. 970-768-0519. Live @ the Park – Fort Morgan Most Thursdays in June and July. Popular local bands play free concerts at the band shell in City Park. 970-542-3921.
Brush Rodeo – Brush July 2-4. One of Colorado’s largest rodeos, boasting 500 contestants who spend three days rodeoing. This long-running tradition has a parade the morning of July 4 and fireworks in the evening. 970-842-2666.
Morgan County Fair – Brush Starts last weekend in July. Local youth show their livestock and 4-H projects. 970-542-3540.
No Credit Bucking Battle – Brush August. You’ll be left in awe by this man vs. beast competition against the clock in a bucking bull battle. 970-542-3508. Fall Harvest Car Show – Fort Morgan Third weekend in September. Over 100 cars, trucks and tractors fill downtown for three days of show and shines, a movie and music. 970-768-7469.
Oktoberfest – Brush Fourth weekend in September. German food, music, polka dancing and beer, plus a car and motorcycle show. 970-842-2666. Christmas Capital of the Plains – Fort Morgan, Brush, Wiggins November and December. Each community in this county-wide event has holiday activities for all ages, including Christmas lighting ceremonies, parade of lights, ice sculpting and more. 970-542-3508.
Bobstock – Fort Morgan July. Crowds gather in City Park for two days of free concerts by big-name classic rock bands. 970-542-3508.
Glenn Miller Swing Fest – Fort Morgan July or August. The boyhood home of the legendary band leader presents a full lineup of festivities and free swing music concerts. 970-867-6702.
Matt Inden/Colorado Tourism Office
Fourth of July tradition: Brush Rodeo
Legendary sci-fi author Philip K. Dick is buried in Fort Morgan’s Riverside Cemetery. The South Platte River winds through Morgan County. Hunters (and hunting dogs) find birds flying at Longmeadow Game Resort and Event Center in Wiggins.
Longmeadow Game Resort and Event Center in Wiggins, a 4,000-acre family-owned hunting destination, offers guided and non-guided hunts for ducks, geese, pheasants, doves, turkey, coyotes, prairie dogs, elk and whitetailed deer. There is a 15-station sporting clays course and an event center that offers comfortable lodging. 970-483-8368.
I-76 Speedway Mods, sports mods, stocks, hobby stocks, compacts, dwarfs – if it races on a dirt track, you’ll find it at the I-76 Speedway. Situated on the west side of Fort Morgan off I-76, this speedway provides a stupendous dirt track and plenty of racing action: excitement, power, thrills and spills, awesome crews and the best drivers and fastest cars in the region. May-October, first and third Saturdays, 6 p.m., 970-8672101, i76speedway.com.
Sweney Cycle Park Located south of Brush, this motocross track features a sand-clay composite so amazing, it’s earned Sweney Track of the Year distinction by District 25 riders multiple times over the last 15 years. Plenty of motocross riders say it’s the best dirt in the state. The 1.1-mile track contains tabletops, step-ups, stepdowns, rollers, off camber corners and a huge canyon jump. On-site dry camping available. 970-768-0519. NORTHEASTCOLORADOTOURISM.COM |
Riverside Park has walking and biking trails along the South Platte River.
Jackson Lake State Park – Orchard Author James Michener called this reservoir an “oasis of the plains.” Water-skiers, boaters, anglers and swimmers love Jackson Lake, which Reserve America honored with its Outdoor Recreation Award for America’s top 15 park beaches. Modern campsites are available year-round. Waterfowl hunting is allowed, as is fishing for stocked walleye, saugeye, catfish, perch, rainbow trout, crappie and wipers, with some small-mouth bass and northern pike. The diverse bird population includes occasional long-billed curlews and whooping cranes. 970-645-2551. City Parks – Fort Morgan Fort Morgan’s 71 acres of parks and 300 acres of open space begin at Riverside Park, right off I-76. The Rainbow Arch Bridge crosses the South Platte River at its north end, and the park’s 4-mile nature trail system loops along the river and back, passing near two disc golf courses with 45 combined holes. The park has ponds, softball and baseball fields, volleyball and basketball courts, two swimming pools, an inline skate park, a playground and camping. The other eight parks offer amenities like a band shell and even offer adventures for your four-legged friends. 970-867-3808.
44 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
City Parks – Brush Brush has five public parks. Memorial Park is the largest with a playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, an outdoor pool with water slides and camping. Across the street is the Prairie Trails Park, with a path around Doty Fishing Pond, stocked with bass, trout, crappie, catfish and sunfish. A disc golf course, tennis courts and skate park round out the recreation in Brush. 970-842-5280.
Lodging LOGAN COUNTY
Best Western Sundowner Hotel 125 Overland Trail St. Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-6265 Buffalo Hills Campground & RV Park 22018 Highway 6 Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-2233 Colonial Motel 915 S. Division Ave. Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-3382 Crest Motel 516 S. Division Ave. Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-3753 Fountain Lodge Hotel 619 N. Third St. Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-1821 Holiday Inn Express 1555 E. Chestnut St. Sterling, CO 80751 970-425-7414 North Sterling State Park 24005 County Road 330 Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-3657 Oakwood Inn 810 S. Division Ave. Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-1416 Ramada Inn 22140 U.S. Highway 6 Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-2625 Sterling Motor Lodge 731 N. Third St. Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-2740
Northeast Colorado has many options for travelers: affordable motels, unique inns, historic hotels and cozy B&Bs. Thank you to our advertisers listed in red.
Super 8 Motel 12883 Highway 61 Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-0300
Cobblestone Inn & Suites 805 S. Interocean Ave. Holyoke, CO 80734 970-854-3222
The HideAway Inn 916 W. Eighth St. Wray, CO 80758 970-332-4634
Fairfield Inn & Suites 1290 Cottonwood Parkway Fort Morgan, CO 80701 888-236-2427
Quality Inn & Suites 2020 Leisure Lane Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-3700
Golden Plains Motel 1250 SW Interocean Ave. Holyoke, CO 80734 970-854-3000
Wray Hitch’N Post RV Park 34172 U.S. Highway 385 Wray, CO 80758 970-332-3128
Fort Morgan Motel 525 W. Platte Ave. Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-8264
Joy’s Cozy Cottage 16360 U.S. Highway 385 Holyoke, CO 80734 970-854-3308
Hampton Inn 1152 Main St. Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-542-2484
Gemma’s Crossing 60 Hickory Ave. Akron, CO 80720 970-345-0720 Mojo’s Inn 625 E. First St. Akron, CO 80720 970-345-6656
Grand Motel 220 Pine St. Julesburg, CO 80737 970-474-3302 Platte Valley Inn 15225 U.S. Highway 385 Julesburg, CO 80737 970-474-3336 Pony Express RV Park 20821 County Road 28 Julesburg, CO 80737 970-474-9839 Sedgwick Antique Inn Bed & Breakfast 100 Main Ave. Sedgwick, CO 80749 970-463-9932
Burge Hotel 230 N. Interocean Ave. Holyoke, CO 80734 970-854-2261
46 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO
YUMA COUNTY Beecher Island Battleground Campground 20563 County Road KK Wray, CO 80758 970-630-5135 Butte Motel 330 E. Third St. Wray, CO 80758 970-332-4828 Cobblestone Inn and Suites 35952 U.S. Highway 385 Wray, CO 80758 970-332-5000 Doc’s Bed & Breakfast 443 Blake St. Wray, CO 80758 970-332-9821 Harvest Motel 421 W. Eighth Ave. Yuma, CO 80759 970-848-5853 Nelson Inn 815 E. Eighth Ave. Yuma, CO 80759 970-848-2774 Sandhiller Restaurant, Hotel and Lounge 411 W. North Railway St. Wray, CO 80758 970-332-4134 The Ellis House 503 Adams St. Wray, CO 80758 303-898-0079
Best Western Plus Overland Inn 1410 Barlow Road Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-370-2322
Jackson Lake State Park 26363 County Road 3 Orchard, CO 80649 970-645-2551
Brush Memorial Campground & RV Park 500 S. Clayton St. Brush, CO 80723 970-842-5001
Longmeadow Game Resort and Events Center 8604 County Rd 6 Wiggins, CO 80654 970-483-8368
Central Motel 201 W. Platte Ave. Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-2401
Microtel Inn & Suites 975 N. Colorado Ave. Brush, CO 80723 970-842-4241
Clarion Inn 14378 U.S. Highway 34 Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-8200
Rodeway Inn 1409 Barlow Road Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-9481
Comfort Inn 1417 Barlow Road Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-6700
Sands Motel 933 W. Platte Ave. Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-2453
Country Comfort Motel and RV Park 16466 W. U.S. Highway 34 Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-0260
Sands Park Terrace 725 Main St. Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-427-5001
Econo Lodge 1208 N. Colorado Ave. Brush, CO 80723 970-842-5146 Empire Motel 1408 Edison St. Brush, CO 80723 970-842-2876
Silver Spur Campground 1509 Barlow Road Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-380-7607 Super 8 Motel 1220 N. Main St. Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-867-9443
Colorado Welcome Center in Julesburg.
Tourism Logan County Visitor Center 102 N. Riverview Road • Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-8962 • exploresterling.com Akron City Hall 245 Main Ave. • Akron, CO 80720 970-345-2309 • townofakron.com Julesburg Colorado Welcome Center 20934 County Road 28 • Julesburg, CO 80737 970-474-2054 • colorado.com/coloradoofficial-state-welcome-center/coloradowelcome-center-julesburg Wray Chamber of Commerce 110 E. Third St. • Wray, CO 80758 970-332-3484 • wraychamber.net West Yuma Chamber of Commerce 14 W. Second Ave. • Yuma, CO 80759 970-848-2704 • westyumachamber.com Holyoke Chamber of Commerce 212 S. Interocean Ave. • Holyoke, CO 80734 970-854-3517 • holyokechamber.org Morgan County Tourism 231 Ensign St Suite 200 • Fort Morgan, CO 80701 970-542-3508 • morgancountytourism.com
Brought to you in part by:
48 | VENTURE TO NORTHEAST COLORADO