- Glen Elder Reservoir/Waconda Lake, located on Highway 24, provides some of the best walleye fishing in the Midwest.
- Milford Lake, the largest man-made lake in Kansas, is located in Clay County at Wakefield.
- Other lakes in the area include:
Fishing tournaments are scheduled in the summer at Waconda Lake, and Lovewell Reservoir. For information Contact Waconda at (785) 545-3345 or Lovewell at (785) 753-4971, and Clay County Park at Milford Lake (785) 461-5774.
All recreational areas contain hookups, picnic areas and campsites. In addition, some feature nature trails, educational and interpretive programs for children, swimming areas, archery ranges, hiking, horseshoe pits, sand and mud volleyball pits, and tennis and basketball courts. Both grass and sand green golf courses are available in the area.
Cars and Racing Events
- Each June Belleville is filled with antique and classic car enthusiasts who come from all over the Midwest for the Mid America Cruise In/Crossroads Car Show. Spectators enjoy viewing more than 500 antique, classic, and custom cars. In August, the top-name drivers of midget cars from around the world and thousands of race fans gather in Belleville for the Midget Nationals, the “Indy 500 of midget car racing”. Belleville combines the excitement of dirt track auto racing with the festival atmosphere of the North Central Kansas Free Fair, the largest free fair in Kansas. The fair and midget nationals are held concurrently each year.
- Clay Center features midget car races, which begin in May on the first Saturday of every month and last through the summer.
Other Events and Celebrations
- Piotique, a Pioneer-Antique celebration is held in September in Clay Center. This festival features 70 arts/crafts booths, vintage cars and a parade. Other Clay County Communities also host events such as: Longford hosts a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) rodeo the first weekend of September every year. A Living/History Re-enactment is also held at the Clay County Fairgrounds on the first weekend of June each year.
- Clay Center is also home to Utility Park & Zoo and Dexter Park, which features disc golf and a historic bandshell hosting band concerts every Wednesday throughout the summer. Utility Park includes picnic areas, a native rock fountain and bridge, while also being home to a free zoo, which holds over 25 varieties of animals.
- The Chautauqua Park in Beloit features a 125-foot water slide and disc golf course. Annual events occurring in Beloit include: the Beloit Relays, Garage Sale Weekend, Beloit Homecoming weekend, Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament at Waconda Lake, Fireworks display at Waconda Lake, Mitchell County Fair and the St. John’s Harvest Festival, the Solomon Valley Arts & Craft Show and an annual Veteran’s Day Parade.
- Chautauqua Park hosts the Solomon Valley Eagles Car Show and an outstanding Christmas lighting display, the ‘Chautauqua Isle of Lights’ can be seen in the park from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Washington County is also noted for numerous Christmas lights featured throughout the county.
- September brings a host of athletes and car show enthusiasts for the Post Rock Festival, which includes a Walk/Run/Jog, Parade, and a Car Show. Lincoln County’s rolling grasslands and cropland cover provides excellent hunting for pheasant, turkey, and deer. A working stone quarry operating near Sylvan Grove contributes to the areas’ post rock history.
- Come visit the Ottawa County Fair for lots of good food and fun. Ottawa County is also the only home-owned volunteer-operated carnival in NCK! There is also the Bennington PRCA Rodeo each year the first weekend in June that supplies fun for the entire family.
- The Branson Stage Show comes to Tescott located in Ottawa County the third weekend in April. Come see Ottawa County for their Minnie-K Day in Minneapolis, which offers a Rock-to-Rock Run, car show, games, and live music for everyone to enjoy.
- Kensington’s Old Fashioned Saturday Night is an annual event in August since 1987.
Lebanon’s Summer Bash celebrates the end of summer in downtown Lebanon each August.
Old Settlers Day in Smith Center is held the 4th Saturday in September.
If outdoor recreation isn’t tempting, there’s more to enjoy…
- The Brown Grand Theatre in Concordia was originally built in 1907 and completely renovated in 1980, the theatre is on the National Register and truly a unique expeWilrience. Events held in the theatre include live traveling and community plays, ballets, musical entertainment, and conventions. Area high schools/Art Councils provide music, plays & import quality entertainment during the year as well.
- Beloit has numerous sites on the National and State Historic Register which are The Little Red Schoolhouse, St. John’s Catholic Church, and the Mitchell County Courthouse along with two residential homes. Beloit also hosts an Annual Christmas Program w/orchestra, and the Beloit Community Orchestra Concert.
- Explore the “Post Rock Capital of Kansas”, Lincoln County. This designation was earned in part because of the many unique limestone buildings and fence lines in the county. Five area limestone buildings, the Courthouse (built in 1899), the Denmark Church, Lincoln Carnegie Library, the Cummins Block Building, and the Marshall-Yohe House are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
- The Kyne House Museum in Lincoln and the Wade-Jensen-Dahl Home in Denmark are listed on the Kansas Historical Register. Lincoln celebrates a historical Reenactment Day in honor of Abraham Lincoln each February. The Art Center hosts national and regional artist exhibitions. The newly completed Finch Theater features a theater for movies as well as performing arts, and has adjacent conference areas for meetings and small conferences.
- Clay County’s historic limestone courthouse (1901) which is being restored both inside and out, and the Carnegie Library are both listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The historic Rock Island Depot in Clay Center has also been restored and is a must see in Clay County.
- Heritage Row, is a beautiful row of historic buildings representing Clay County’s history including Dexter Cabin, Cummings Cabin, Dexter Store, King School, and the Uniondale Church, these buildings along with the Clay County Museum are wonderful historic places to visit. The Clay County Arts Council sponsors many recitals at the Rex Theatre and Clay Center’s Bandshell.
- The Willow Springs Art Council is presently in the process of renovating the old Beloit depot for use as a community center. Facilities will be available for theater, music programs, art gallery, traveling exhibits, workshops, classes and other community events. Courtland’s Art Council with members from Republic, Cloud & Jewell Counties sponsor an art competition each spring. Jewell County’s native limestone courthouse in Mankato has been placed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.
- The Home on the Range Cabin – Birthplace of the State Song of Kansas in located in rural Northwest Smith County.Dr. Brewster M Higley wrote a poem titled “My Western Home” to describe the beauty of the site he had chosen for his Kansas Homestead in 1871. The original cabin was built on the bank of West Beaver Creek in Smith County, Kansas in 1872. The cabin was restored in 2014.