Ark City Arts – (620) 442-5895
Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum – (620) 442-6750
Historic Downtown Walking Tour – Arkansas City – (620) 442-0230
Cowley Cinema 8 – (620) 229-8336
Hillcrest Bowling Lanes – (620) 442-9610
Ark City Dance – (620) 442-5355
Cindy’s School of Dance – (620) 441-3765
7 Clans First Council – (580) 448-3015
Native Lights – (580) 448-3100
Southwind – (580) 362-2578
Kansas Star Casino – (316) 719-5000
When: Last full week of October
Where: Arkansas City
What: Parades, pageants, activities, contests
Contact: (620) 442-6077
Organized in 1928, Arkalalah is an annual autumn festival held the last full week of October. It draws crowds as large as 30,000, and is highlighted by the crowning of Queen Alalah and the ‘Big Parade.’ Downtown food vendors, parades, a crafts fair and street games make this week-long festival a tradition for many school alumni and families. It’s also a perfect time for class reunions.
The Bald eagles have migrated back into Kansas for the winter. With their population on the rise it is even easier to find them in Cowley County. The program will start with a 15 minute indoor introduction to the history and adaptations of the Bald eagle. Participants will then take a 1.5-mile hike down to the Arkansas River to search for over-wintering eagles.
When: Every Tuesday 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Memorial Saturday through September
Where: Under the Rotunda, Wilson Park, Arkansas City
What: Fresh produce, locally made art, crafts, jellies, plants and more
Contact: (316) 992-5763
Where: Chaplin Nature Center
What: North American Butterfly Association official count
Contact: (620) 442-4133
When: Last Saturday in September
Where: Paris Park and Summit Street, Arkansas City
What: Custom car show, contests and cruise
Where: Downtown Arkansas City
What: Santa, shopping crawl, music performances, carriage rides, Santa Fun Run, scavenger hunt, food vendors, business window decorating contest
Contact: (620) 442-0230 – Arkansas City Chamber
Whether a neighbor’s pond or an expansive lake, fishing opportunities are plentiful in Cowley County. Anglers commonly pull out large-mouth bass, perch, crappie, catfish and other species from the ponds, lakes and rivers that abound here. Some spots, such as Cowley State Fishing Lake also offer boating and camping in beautiful, tree-lined settings. Hiking trails exist in rural and semi-urban settings. Cowley is also a top place in Kansas for birding — bald eagles are commonly found near ponds and rivers in Arkansas City.
Cowley State Fishing Lake
Activities: boating, fishing, camping, birding
We have taken our kids hiking on about every trail we could find in Cowley County. All have been family friendly and offer a chance for kids to see and experience some of the wildlife they read and learn about in their classrooms. We’ve encountered deer, turkey, armadillos, snakes, rabbits…you name it! I have run on trails throughout the region and Cowley County has some of the most beautiful family friendly trails to hike, bike and run that I’ve seen.
— Ben Schears
Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Activities: boating, fishing, birding, hiking
Activities: boating, fishing, camping
Activities: fishing, hiking, birding
30811 Horizon Dr, Arkansas City, KS 67005
Horizon has one of the best mountain-biking and hiking trails in the Midwest. In fact, you probably won’t even believe you are in Kansas! The course loop is 9 miles long with over 1,000 feet of climbing and 90 percent single track. The nine-mile trail is broken up into smaller sections, so that hikers can select the distance and terrain they are best suited for.
Chaplain Nature Center
27814 27th Dr, Arkansas City, KS 67005
Along the sandy beaches of the Arkansas River, the Chaplin Nature Center combines 230 acres of magnificent woodlands, prairies and streams. The center consists of hiking trails and a visitor center, and offers environmental education programs such as star-gazing, butterfly counts, and eagle watches, for all ages.
A community room is available for receptions and birthdays. Trails through the woods and prairies lead to the sandbars of the Arkansas River, and are open from sunrise to sunset year-round. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Weekdays have seasonal hours.
Fishing and Hunting Outfitters
Double Eagle Firearms
I have been lucky enough to lose golf balls at all four different courses in Cowley County. All of them offer their own unique challenges, from the fast greens at Winfield C.C. to the Perry Maxwell design of the front nine at Great Life in Ark City. Whether it is the uphill #18 finishing hole at Quail Ridge or the scenic view from #5 tee box at Spring Hill, you will find what you are looking for in Cowley County.
— Mike Morgan
Spring Hill Golf Course
Think Kansas is flat? The rolling hills of Spring Hill Golf Course in Arkansas City includes the signature fifth hole, featuring a 70-foot drop in elevation from tee to green.
Great Life Golf & Fitness
One of the more challenging 18-hole courses in the region. It is characterized by its length, narrow fairways and small greens.
Arkansas City Recreation Center
225 E. 5th St.
This shared complex offers multiple baseball and softball fields that are home to recreation and school teams, as well as hosting regional tournaments.
701 S. Summit St.
Wilson Park features a 1920s-era steam train engine that children can climb and explore. The park’s covered stage and picnic area makes it a go-to spot for concerts, reunions and public events.
500 Block on W. 5th St.
This large park near Cowley College offers two playgrounds and a popular picnic pavilion, adjacent to the Paris Park Pool and the Agri-business Building.
For other parks in Arkansas City, please see this link.
Both Winfield and Arkansas City recreation centers house fitness centers and offer a wide-range of youth and adult programs. Here are some of them:
My family enjoys participating in many programs sponsored by the Rec Center, from the summer camps to youth sports. The kids enjoy the programs, and as parents we feel great seeing our kids have fun and develop friendships with others in the community.
— Brad Beeson
Arkansas City Recreation Center
Ben Cleveland Wellness Center
Great Life Golf & Fitness