Things to Do...

Looking for a way to spend an evening? a Saturday? or a week? We have many area attractions you will want to be sure to see.

Outdoor Recreation

Shannon Trail: http://shannontrail.com/
Shannon Trail Promoters was created in 2001 in an effort to make Lewis & Clark history come alive, to promote tourism, and to unite area communities in a common effort. The Nebraska communities involved are Bloomfield, Bow Valley, Center, Creighton, Crofton, Hartington, Lindy, Niobrara, St. Helena, St. James, Santee, Verdel, Verdigre, Wausa, Winnetoon, Wynot, and the Ponca and Santee Sioux Nations. The Trail encompasses an area steeped in history, dotted with pioneer cemeteries and ghost towns. Jesse James reportedly hid out in the rugged wooded terrain known as the Devil’s Nest, where a curious formation of trees and brush on a hillside forms the word, “DEVIL.”

Outlaw Trail:  https://visitnebraska.com/outlaw-trail-scenic-byway
231 miles / State 12 between South Sioux City and Valentine. www.visitnebraska.com/outlaw-trail-scenic-byway

Lewis & Clark Lake - Gavins Point Dam
Gavin's Point Dam is located just 25 minutes from Hartington, in the northwest corner of Cedar County. Gavins Point is the final link in a chain of dams along the Missouri River, which have combined to provide hundreds of miles of recreational land. The facility is operated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The Corps provides a boat ramp and camping facilities. This is an excellent area for water skiing, and fishing. Several attractive expansive beaches are located on the north side of the lake, which stretches from Yankton, South Dakota, to Fort Randall, South Dakota, 70 miles to the west.

Chalkrock Lake

This lake was established by the local Natural Resource District. It is located about 15 minutes northwest of Hartington, near Menominee, Nebraska. It is excellent for panfishing.

Ponca State Park

Situated astride the picturesque Missouri River bluffs in northeast Nebraska, Ponca State Park overlooks the only unchanneled section of the river bordering the state, giving visitors a glimpse of how the untamed river looked before modern man changed it forever. The park is located 40 miles northeast of Hartington--two miles from the town of Ponca, just off of Nebraska Highway 12 on S-26E. The park is named for the proud Indian tribe that once inhabited the area. Developed and operated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Ponca State Park encompasses 892 acres of heavily-forested rolling hills. This superbly scenic area offers park goers all the amenities of an up-to-date state park. For more information, visit Ponca State Park's home page.

Niobrara State Park

Situated at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri rivers on Nebraska's northeastern border, Niobrara State Park offers visitors an opportunity to sample a wide range of outdoor experiences. Cabins, camping from RVs to tents, picnicking, swimming, boat ramps, horseback trail rides, paddleboats, hiking, fishing, history or communing with Mother Nature...it all awaits at this exceptional state park. Niobrara State Park is located just 60 minutes northwest of Hartington. For more information, visit Niobrara State Park's home page.

Excellent Hunting

The Hartington area also provides exceptional pheasant habitat, making Cedar County one of the premier pheasant hunting areas in Nebraska. Hunters from across the U.S. routinely flock to Hartington during the pheasant season to get their Ringneck limit. The region is filled with state and federal Wildlife Habitat and Production Areas that can be accessed for hunting. The Lewis & Clark Pheasants Forever Chapter has been instrumental in developing winter food plots and helping to keep the habitat suitable for positive pheasant populations.

Hartington Golf Course

The Hartington Golf Course, one of the premier golf courses in Northeast Nebraska, is located west of Highway 57 on Felber Street. The 9-hole course features a mixture of tree-lined holes over varying terrain. The course record of 29 was set in 1994 by local resident Jason Merkel. For more information, contact Club House Manager Jonathan Heimes or Course Superintendent Gary Kuehn at (402) 254-7312.

Northeast Nebraska Archery Range

This facility was created in 1995 by the Northeast Nebraska Archery Club. It is located two miles east of Hartington on Highway 84. The 3D archery course is managed by a non-profit group. Contact Colin Kathol, (402) 254-6987, for more information. The group also manages an indoor archery range in Crofton, Nebraska.

Broadway Lanes Bowling Alley

Hartington also features a popular six-lane bowling alley located at 206 North Broadway in Hartington. The facility was newly remodeled in 1995. Several men's, women's, and mixed leagues are active here from September to April. For more information, contact Derek Klug at (402) 254-6665.

Cedar County Baseball League

The league, which has been in existence for more than 60 years, begins in earnest each May. It is comprised of at least six area amateur baseball teams. Fielded teams in the league for 1999 are Hartington, Wynot, Crofton, Fordyce, O'Neill and Wakefield. For more information contact Alton Heimes at (402) 254-3315.


Cedar County Historical Museum

The Cedar County Historical Museum is located at 304 West Franklin in Hartington. The museum was bursting at the seams with no other place to go, until a building project was completed in 1995. The new 40-by-60 foot building houses antique machinery and horse drawn buggies. The museum also houses Hartington's first fire engine and a restored Model T. The new exhibit hall is located directly east of the current museum. The Society has collected a wealth of Nebraska heritage to display in the facility. The museum complex also includes a genuine log cabin and a carriage house on the premises. The museum is open on Sunday afternoons 2:00-4:00 p.m. during the months of May, June, July and August or you can call for an appointment at (402) 254-7266 or (402) 254-6523.

The Hartington area also features several other historic sites, including Wiseman Memorial (26 miles northeast of Hartington), Devil's Nest (35 miles northwest of Hartington), the St. Helena Cemetery and the St. Helena Church, which is the fourth oldest Catholic church in the state of Nebraska (both located 20 miles north of Hartington), and St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Bow Valley (7 miles north of Hartington).

Cedar County Fairgrounds

The Cedar County Fairgrounds are located on the eastern edge of Hartington. At the Fairgrounds there is a quarter-mile dirt stock car track available for stock car races. For more information, contact Robert Steffen at (402) 254-6653, or Richard Newton at (402) 692-3148.

Cedar County Fair

The Cedar County Fair features four days of family oriented entertainment, 4-H exhibits and open class exhibits. The fairgrounds were remodeled in 1995 and a huge new exhibit hall was added. The new facility made the fairgrounds handicapped accessible, and added new restrooms and an expanded administration office to the complex. In 1998 a new dairy beef barn was added and the main office was remodeled. For more information, contact Richard Newton, at (402) 692-3148.

The Lutheran Lunch Stand, the main eatery at the fair each year, was also renovated in 1995, enlarging the eatery and making it handicapped accessible.

Dance Halls

The Skylon Ballroom in Hartington has a storied history. Performers such as Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk played at the Skylon. Today, it is still used for dances and concerts for people of all ages. The hall also serves as a community reception hall. Banquets, wedding dances, and funeral meals are often held here. Skylon Ballroom is open for rollerskating on Sunday afternoons and is also available for private skating partings. For more information, contact Dean Wortmann at (402) 254-3829, or Roger Wortmann at (402) 254-6895.

The Bow Valley Ballroom is located seven miles north of Hartington in the hamlet of Bow Valley. The original ballroom was built in 1896. The structure housing the ballroom has changed over the years, but its physical location has always remained at the same site. The ballroom features youth dancing, wedding dances and receptions, and community plays. For more information, contact Danny Thoene at (402) 254-6766, or for scheduling an event contact Darrell Peitz at (402) 254-6247.

Laurel Golf Course
Cedarview Country Club located at 101 Calcavecchia Drive is a fun and challenging 9-hole course.  Pro Golfer Mark Calcavecchia started his career on Laurel's course.  Country Club's phone number is 402-256-3184.

Laurel Youth Recreation
In the summer, baseball and softball are offered to all kids ages five through 18.  The high school baseball team is part of the Ralph Bishop League.

The Laurel Youth Recreation is designed for youth sports of all ages. In the fall, boys in grades four through six play youth football and girls in grades three through sixth play volleyball.  The Laurel Youth Rec hosts a Volleyball League in Laurel at the high school gyms that includes surrounding towns on Sundays in October. The youth football team is in a traveling league with Wayne, Ponca, Hartington and Bancroft.

In the winter months boys and girls in grade three through sixth play basketball.  In January, the Laurel Hoops League, which is hosted by the Laurel Youth Rec Club, is played on Sundays in Laurel and Coleridge and includes surrounding towns.

Randolph Golf Course:  https://www.ci.randolph.ne.us/recreation.asp
The golf course, established in 1993, is a 9-hole, 36-par, grass green, country club course, built with funds provided solely by donations. Located at 406 S. Pierce St., the course is owned by the city and operated by the Randolph Golf Board. For more information, call (402) 337-1405.

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