This border town, famous as the gateway to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush, blends the past with the future in most appealing ways. 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.
In one of seventeen local parks, a Santa Fe engine that tracks railroad history is situated next to the Robert Docking Memorial honoring one of the state’s most popular governors. Ireland Hall, the 1890 red-stained, stone high school anchors the north end of Cowley College campus, and the new exquisitely sculptured Brown Center for Arts, Science & Technology secures the south end.
Arkansas City, an agricultural, industrial and business center is a pleasant progressive community of approximately 12,000 residents. Over the past 100 years, “Ark City” has grown into a progressive community with many cultural, recreational and educational opportunities. The spirit of progress is balanced by warmth, friendliness and tranquillity that are typical of small towns.
In addition to our 17 parks, Ark City is home to the second largest community swimming pool in Kansas, twelve public tennis courts, two choice golf courses, and new hiking/biking trails. The surrounding area includes a number of excellent outdoor recreational facilities for good hunting and fishing. Two such sites are the Cowley County State Lake and the Kaw Federal Recreation Area. The Chaplin Nature Center has over five miles of hiking trails which ramble through diverse habitats.
Arkalalah, an Indian term meaning “good times,” is one of the many annual events in Ark City. Celebrated in late October, the festival involves people of all ages and is well-known throughout Kansas. PrairieFest – an arts and music festival – is held the first part of June. And, celebrating our cultural diversity is our newest event, WorldFest.
With family events and excitement year-round, you will want to “find the prairie spirit” in Arkansas City and makethis fun and friendly town your own.