graphicCultural and family celebrations are an important part of life in Cowley County. Throughout the year, special events draw people into the small town atmosphere of our communities for a chance to participate in many diverse activities. Annual events include KANZA Days, PrairieFest, Wheatland Jam, the Cowley County Fair, the Walnut Valley Festival, the World Fest Celebration, the Last Run Car Show, Art in the Park, Arkalalah, and Isle of Lights, just to name a few!

Good parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities are important to the general health, happiness, and welfare of our communities. There are over 30 city parks, a state-of-the-art Aquatics Center, public and private golf courses, and a variety of other recreational facilities and resources located throughout the county.

Cowley County attractions cover a large range of interests - whether you’re looking for history, hunting, shopping, agriculture, or art, Cowley County has it all.


Bryant’s Hardware

One of the last remaining old-time hardware stores, located in downtown Arkansas City. The first hardware store on that site was established in 1870. The Bryant family has owned it since 1926. Their motto is "Yes, we have it!"

Chaplin Nature Center

Located five miles northwest of Ark City along the sandy beaches of the Arkansas River, Chaplin Nature Center combines 230 acres of woodlands, prairies and streams. There are over five miles of walking trails for visitors to trek as they explore the varied environment. The nature trails are open from sunrise to sunset, every day of the year. On site facilities include a Visitor’s Center, Nature Library, bookstore, and multi-purpose room. A naturalist conducts seasonal programs to help people attain a better appreciation of the inter-relationship between living things.

graphicCherokee Strip Land Rush Museum in Arkansas City

The area was made famous as the gateway to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush that was later called "The Largest Race in World History." This movement attracted settlers from all over the world. They came by covered wagon, bicycle, car, horseback, and on foot to acquire their piece of fertile ground. Visitors can still experience the sound and feel of the event today through Arkansas City’s Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum, which houses commemorative artifacts of "The Run," Native Americans, westward pioneers and Cowley County history.

Cowley County State Lake

Cowley County State Lake, covering 85 acres, is mainly for fishing, but has campsites and picnic areas also. Along with many of the lakes in the area, it features channel catfish, a variety of bass, crappie, bluegill, sun perch and other species. The lake also has a fishing dock, two boat ramps and 10 fishing piers. Primitive camping is also available. Cowley Lake is located on Highway 166, 16 miles east of Arkansas City.

Denton Art Center

The Denton Art Center, located in Arkansas City, is the home of the Arkansas City Arts Council. The Art Center’s exterior is a wonderful example of Italian Renaissance architecture with Prairie-Style influence. The interior design shows the Arts and Crafts Style. Tours of the house are available, showing the grandeur in which the Denton family lived when the house was first built. Many exhibits, programs and classes are held at this Center.

Earle Wright Gallery

The Brown Center on the Cowley College campus houses the Earle Wright Gallery. Many works of art are displayed in other areas of the campus as well. Cowley County Community College dates back to 1922 when it began as Arkansas City Junior College. The vocational-technical school was added in 1967, making Cowley the first community college in Kansas to combine technical and general curriculums. At present, there are 2,000 full-time equivalent students and nearly 4,000 total students taking daytime and evening classes. A variety of weekend workshops are also available. Entertainment in the form of musicals, plays, and concerts are also available throughout the year.

Horizon United Methodist Center

Located seven miles east of Arkansas City, "Camp Horizon" is nestled in 160 wooded acres on a bluff overlooking the Arkansas River. It provides not only a youth camp, but a variety of outdoor and recreational experiences. The North Woods Chapel/South Woods Chapel provide rustic outdoor settings for worship. For historic significance, the Settler’s Dugout and the Outlaw’s Hideout are interesting. The Low & High Ropes Courses provide a fun opportunity to develop learning about group dynamics and trust. Also of interest are the "Trail of Crosses," and Inspiration Point, which overlooks the beautiful valley below.

Kaw Wildlife Area

graphicKaw Lake and Wildlife Area, eight miles east of Ponca City, south of Arkansas City, boasts 168 miles of shoreline and 17,000 surface acres of water. Excellent fishing and hunting are combined with perfect spots for swimming, camping, boating, water-skiing, picnicking, hiking and horseback riding.

Post Musical Homestead

Is approximately eight miles west of Arkansas City on Highway 166. It was homesteaded by Harvey T. Post in 1874, and is still owned by the Post family. The buildings there include The Granary Gallery, the Post Chapel, the Post Country Home, the Post Story Barn, and Tin Pan Alley, which contain musical information about the Post family. Original music can be seen and heard throughout the homestead, as well as murals and fun animal statues for the kids.

Scott Museum

A large unique collection of memorabilia of "Yester Years" of the area. The artifacts include actual and replicas of items in settings such as a parlor, kitchen, drugstore, grocery and general merchandise store. Also featured is a one-room schoolhouse, and an extensive display of pictures. Tours are by appointment.

Scripture Hill

Located east of Arkansas City on a hill west of the railroad tracks, is easily viewed when driving northbound on the U.S. 77 Bypass. It was created by a dispatcher for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1897 as a message for everyone to see. After being rebuilt several times over a 30-year period, it now stands as the earliest and probably the largest stone message in existence. Each letter is 18 feet high, 12 feet wide, and three feet deep.

Stan Herd’s Prairie Man

Six miles due east of Strother Field on Cowley 1. Prairie Man is an artistic response to a Kansas petroglyph of an original prairie dweller. The three-acre Prairie Man was created by subtle manipulations of ancient prairie grasses on a south-sloping face of a rock-strewn dry watershed. The piece can be seen from both the highway and the air.

Baden Square/St. John’s Campus

St John’s College was founded in 1893 and closed in 1986. The City of Winfield purchased the campus in 1988. Now a historical site with walking tours, the campus has been developed for greater use and is the home of the Joe Thornton Gymnasium/Rec Center, the Public Library, the Arts & Humanities Council, the

Senior Center, Meyer Hall, and Rehwinkle Apartments

Cowley County Historical Society, 1011 Mansfield

In one of the Winfield’s original schools, Bryant School, built in 1886. The Society sponsors a variety of tours and activities.

Historic Homes Tour of Winfield

Explore Winfield’s rich cultural heritage on a driving tour past beautiful Victorian and Caton homes. Brochures detailing and guiding visitors to the many interesting examples of Winfield’s unique architecture are available at the Winfield Convention & Tourism office, 205 E. 9th Ave., 620-221-2421,

Kansas Veterans Home
The facilities located northeast of Winfield serve as a place of honor for our veterans, and also house historical exhibits covering all the U.S. wars. Tours are available upon request.

Winfield’s Island Park
The site of the original Chautauquas in Winfield, today the park is used by families for picnics, fishing, and recreation. Island Park, located at the north end of Main Street, is surrounded by the Timber Creek Lagoon. A "Peace Garden" situated within the park serves as a quiet spot to rest and relax with nature.

Winfield City Lake
Northeast of Winfield, the lake, with over 1, 130 surface acres of water and 21 miles of shoreline, is used for boating, fishing, picnics, and camping. A marina provides a number of services such as food, boating supplies, and bait.

Winfield Murals
Winfield has been named the "Mural Capital of Kansas." For a guide to the driving tour of these original works, contact Winfield Convention & Tourism, 205 E. 9th Ave., 620-221-2421,

Winfield Trolley
Winfield’s Old-Fashioned Trolley brings back memories of a more gracious time. The Winfield trolley has been restored to its original beauty and is available for charter. View historic downtown Winfield while being led on a guided trolley tour for a truly unique experience. Reservations can be made by contacting the City of Winfield at 620-221-5525.

Vietnam War Memorial
Constructed as a replica of the Washington, DC Memorial, is found in Memorial Park just east of the Cowley County Courthouse on East 9th in Winfield. The Memorial is engraved with names of 777 servicemen and nurses from the State of Kansas who were killed or missing in action during the Vietnam War.

The Red Caboose & Museum, located in Atlanta

The Rock Room, and historic bank building in Burden

The Stockman’s Café and Kansas Saddlery, in Cambridge

Henry's Candy Company
On K-15 in Dexter, offers a chance to see a candy factory in operation. Demonstrations are given on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Group tours are available.

Udall Community Historical Society Museum
The museum includes history of the Udall area detailing the interesting past of this Kansas community, which became famous on May 25, 1955.


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