36 Hours - regional artPrairie Bull, McCook

36 Hours discovering trails and towns in Arapahoe, Cambridge and McCook Region

Family Fun and Leisure Tourism in Nebraska

36 Hours discovering trails and towns in
Arapahoe, Cambridge and McCook Region

Arapahoe, Cambridge and McCook – authentic, lively and prosperous communities are situated in the Republican River Valley, southwest Nebraska. Only hours away from the concrete sprawl of cities visitors experience lakes, beaches, bluffs, river landscapes, sky scapes and the magical main streets in Furnas and Red Willow Counties.

The communities offer small town charm with uptown amenities. Visitors delight in historic trails, art trails, bicycling and walking trails, world class golf, lakes, river and streams, scenic outlooks, birding, camping, historic buildings, chefs who serve fine, fresh and local menu items in restaurants with an historic ambience in tune with the region.

Before Nebraska earned statehood, and when tribal records were primarily oral, the Furnas and Red Willow region were welcoming travelers, revelers, hunters, farmers, builders, entrepreneurs, and politicians. The Pawnee built majestic earth lodges, farmed, and developed a sophisticated and prosperous cultural life on the flood plain of the Republican River. The U.S. Army hosted international visitors in the Furnas and Red Willow County region. These cultural patterns carry on, and hospitality is highly regarded in the valley today.

Visit the must-see and highly recommended eateries, hostelries, trails, places, activities yet we invite you to interrupt your schedules and pause to hear a story and share one of yours. May this be a memorable leisure experience for you and your family.

Arapahoe, Cambridge and McCook are arranged like pearls on a necklace separated by emerald green landscapes and approximately 15 miles (15 minutes) from one another. Easy travel encourages circular and zig-zag patters. You will have time to experience the highlights in each community, to see and do and eat wonderful food and enjoy the moments.

Friday – Explore the Art Trail in Arapahoe, Cambridge and McCook

We love rural Nebraska for its stunning scenery, but if we look past that, we find tucked in among the finery, beautiful bronzes and architectural beauties, even along the roads less traveled.

Bronze art and artists flourish in southwest Nebraska. All you must do is seek and you will find. These treasures will lead you to appreciate fine art and attain a perspective of rural Nebraska culture, history, and people.

Explore the parks, walk the trails, feel the tranquility, notice the trees, and relish in the quiet.

Art Trails

“Our Lady of Fatima Shrine”
Located on the west side of the St. Germanus Catholic Church
(Four blocks west of the intersection of Hwy 283 and Hwy 6/34)

The shrine was built in 1956 by Father Henry Denis to honor a pledge he made to Christ’s Mother, Mary whose prayer, saved his life when imprisoned at Dachau Concentration Camp during World War II.

Bronze of Rachel Weeping for her Children
Well known artist, Sondra Jonson’s bronze, www.sljonsonstudios.com
Rachel Weeping for her Children is installed near the shrine.

Reflective Garden
Artist, Sondra Jonson’s bronze icons marking the Stations of the Cross are installed in the Reflective Garden behind the shrine.

Pause to honor veterans at the Veteran’s Memorial on Mainstreet in Arapahoe.

Cambridge is home to two prominent bronze artists, Sondra Jonson and Gary Ginther. Their art receives international recognition, and is available as public art in the Arapahoe, Cambridge and McCook region.

Sondra Jonson’s www.sljonsonstudios.com, bronze sculptures of Girl with Dog installed in the Cambridge City Park garden and the American Farmer bronze also in the garden.

Regional Artist Gary Ginther’s bronzes – Three Boys Playing Baseball are also public art and placed in the Cambridge City Park near the softball field and swimming pool.

McCook Art Guild Fine Arts Gallery
Visit the McCook Art Guild Gallery to view art exhibits and traveling art shows featuring the visual works of Nebraska artists. 209 Norris Ave • 308.345.4816
Tues, 10-4; Wed-Fri, 1-4; Sat, 10-4

Gary Ginther and John Leightner bronze sculpture of Nebraska U.S. Senator, George Norris, (July 11, 1861 – September 2, 1944) who is known for creating the Tennessee Valley Authority and acquiring federal support for the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation project.

706 Norris Avenue, McCook, NE

Going Home – Sondra Jonson’s www.sljonsonstudios.com bronze of the fallen soldier named Going Home stands in the Norris Avenue Park.

Prairie Bull – Gary Ginther’s bronze buffalo, “Prairie Bull” is placed at the Historic Carnegie Library on Norris Avenue.

There is also a bronze sculpture of US Senator Ben Nelson in his scout uniform as his mother pins his Eagle Scout award and his father watches. The bronze stands in front of his boyhood home on 500 block of Norris Avenue. The sculpture named On My Honor was created by Martha Pettigrew. http://www.marthapettigrew.com/

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sutton House
Designed by one of America’s most influential and visionary architects, 602 Norris Avenue is one of the few homes west of the Mississippi River designed by the internationally renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The Sutton House is an example of Wright’s earlier designs reflecting his famous and distinctive prairie style, in which he blended the design of the home with its natural surroundings. This fabulous home may be viewed on the corner of Norris Avenue and West F Street in McCook. Private Residence.

Additional information on historical attractions in McCook see: http://www.gotomccook.com/exploring-history/historical-attractions

Art Trails Map

Saturday – Golf, Play in the Parks, Hiking and Biking Trails, Museums and Shopping

Explore the parks, walk the trails, feel the tranquility, notice the trees, and relax in the quiet.

Golf Course – Located three miles south of Arapahoe on Highway 283, the Arapahoe Municipal Golf Course and Country Club offers a nine-hole course of competitive play.

Arapahoe Plunge is a heated swimming pool located at the Arapahoe City Park west of Nebraska Avenue between Elm and Locust Streets.

Splash Pad in the Park

Tennis Courts – Located at the corner of Fourth and Cedar Streets, in Arapahoe, two tennis courts are available for recreational use on a “first come, first served” basis.Lighting is available for those that enjoy playing the game in the evenings.

Bowling and Billiards – Tornado Alley, bowling, pool, billiards

Cross Creek Golf Course – As the longest public golf course in the state, measuring 7,205 yards from the tips, Cross Creek offers a variety of teeing areas, wide fairways, and large greens allowing each golfer to enjoy the experience regardless of age or ability.
Email: info@crosscreekgolflinks.com
Phone: 308-697-4768

Cambridge City Park offers all season recreation and fun including:

  • swimming pool,
  • Splash Pad in the park,
  • disc golf course,
  • basketball court,
  • tennis court,
  • formal garden highlighted by 2 bronzes by Sondra Jonson
  • Gary Gintner bronze sculptures of 3 boys playing ball
  • 2 miles of walking and bicycling trail along the Medicine Creek,
  • unique foot bridges across Medicine Creek and to the nearby Cross Creek Golf Course.

Bowling at Cambridge bowling alley

Medicine Creek Reservoir – Medicine Creek State Recreation Area and wildlife lands are located 2 miles west and 7 miles north of Cambridge.Lake views, camping, cabins, bicycle and walking trails, Medicine Creek Reservoir also known as Harry Strunk Lake is rated by many visitors as one of Nebraska’s loveliest recreation spots. The lake, 1,850 surface acres with 29 miles of shoreline is a long narrow lake, much of which is shaded by mature stands of trees and lush underbrush. Facilities at Medicine Creek for camping and picnicking range from the most modern to just the essentials.

Heritage Hills Golf Course
6000 Club House Drive • McCook, NE 69001 •
(308) 345-5032

The par-72 golf course at Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook, Nebraska measures over 6700 yards from the back tees. It was designed by Bradford Benz, ASGCA, and Richard M. Phelps, ASGCA, and opened for play in 1981.

Barnett Park
South Highway 83 • McCook, NE 69001

Barnett Park is located just off South Highway 83 on the south edge of McCook, laid out over 45 acres. The Republican River runs along the south edge of the park.

  • Several well-maintained ponds are established in Barnett Park. They are stocked for fishing, a recreation enjoyed by children and adults alike
  • Enjoy excellent playground areas including sand volley ball courts
  • Walking and bicycling trails run deep into the park and pass along the scenic Republican River
  • Five lighted fountains

This park is the home for many different types of waterfowl as well as a retired M60A1 Battle Tank donated by the Army National Guard for display.

Kelley Walking Trail
E. 3rd St. and M St. • McCook, NE 69001

Kelley Creek Walking Trail includes a 1.5 mile trail with exercise stations that winds from Kelley Park (just north of the College) to Karrer Park on the east edge of town on Hwys 6 & 34.

Red Willow Reservoir
Phone: (308) 345-5899
Email: Red.Willow@ngpc.ne.gov
Red Willow Reservoir, a 1628 acre reservoir, is located 11 miles north of McCook on U.S. Highway 83. The area has excellent facilities for camping and water-oriented recreation.

This reservoir attracts good numbers of migratory water birds, including many geese and ducks. Burrowing owls are usual inhabitants of the prairie dog town near Spring Creek. A park entry permit is required for the State Recreation Area.

Trails Map

Historic Main Streets and Shopping

Check out popular retail stores in historic buildings on the main street of Arapahoe.

Must see:  the Arapahoe Pharmacy and the soda fountain built in the mid 1900’s and in use today. Arapahoe Pharmacy houses one of the few original, functional soda fountains in Nebraska. Read more about the history of the pharmacy on their website at:

The busy Cambridge main street presents Country Drawers, a one-of-a-kind and wonderful shopping experience for parents of small children, Blooms, Flowers & Collectibles and the Cambridge General Store, and others a dedicated shopper may enjoy.
The historic Norris Avenue offers a wide variety of useful and practical plus frivolous and cool things to see and buy.  See it on Norris Avenue.

Main Streets Map


Furnas Gosper Museum
401 Nebraska Ave. • Arapahoe, NE 68922
Their mission is to preserve the history and artifacts of Furnas and Gosper Counties.  Open May through September. Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

If interested in having a group tour, please contact one of the following:
Cathy Weber – 308 962-7714
Lori Moore – 308 962-7446
Lelia Haussler – 308 962-7684

Cambridge Museum
612 Penn St. • Cambridge, NE
Phone: (308) 697-4385
Museum Hours are April to October, Tuesday through Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM and October through April, Saturday and Sunday only 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Museum of the High Plains
413 Norris Ave. • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345 3661

Museums Map

Eateries, Breweries, Crafted Coffee, and History

Cunningham’s Feed Bakery Grill & Bar
603 Nebraska Ave. • Arapahoe, NE 68922
Phone: (308) 962-7373

Cunningham’s Feed , located in an historic building on main street in Arapahoe,  recently restored and repurposed into a fine restaurant, bakery, bar and grill.  Cunningham’s opens for lunch and dinner.  Menu items are always fresh and  often local and always prepared in house.  They specialize in rib eyes, grilled salmon, prime rib, desserts, wide selection of beers and fine wine selection too.  Charming atmosphere and excellent service.

Tornado Alley
Check Tornado Alley on Facebook to see daily activities and menus
1212 West Chestnut St. • Arapahoe, Nebraska
Phone: (308) 962-5500

Sports Bar, pool, billiards, and bowling
Serves pizza, ice cream,  soft beverages

Arapahoe Pharmacy
507 Nebraska Ave. • Arapahoe, NE 68922
Phone: (308) 962-7895
E-mail: tangeman@atcjet.net

Arapahoe Pharmacy houses one of the few original, functional soda fountains in Nebraska. The soda fountain serves phosphates and cokes, including Strawberry, Rootbeer, Cherry, Vanilla, Dr. Pepper, Coke, Green Rivers, and more. Our vanilla syrup still is made using the recipe pharmacist Floyd Morris developed in the fifties. We also serve old-fashioned ice cream sodas topped with whipped cream and a cherry! Popular favorites are Cherry, Strawberry, or Chocolate. You also can’t beat an old-fashioned, authentic Root Beer Float.

The old fashioned glassware, original tin ceilings and wood floors take you back to a time in history when life moved a little slower and conversations with neighbors, friends and newcomers over one of the “made just for you” specialties was an important event.

Amateur’s Bar & Grill
Facebook page
Located at the corner of Paxton/U.S. 6 & 34,

Enjoy daily noon lunch specials, big subs, soft serve ice cream, and pizza or a burger with your evening cocktails and a game of pool.

Shirley K’s
624 Patterson St. • Cambridge, NE 69022
Phone: (308) 697-3399

Enjoy a jovial atmosphere while sipping delicious crafted espresso coffees (or regular) coffees, maybe a kolache and always a cinnamon roll, all made in house as are breakfast and lunch favorites like breakfast wraps, Panini sandwiches, big Kahouna salads, sliced turkey with apple sandwich on wheat, homemade soups, and Mark Burgers on Fridays. Shirley K’s brings very fresh and unique flavors to the local cuisine.

Town Talk Restaurant, Bar and Banquet
606 Patterson • Cambridge, NE 69022
Phone: (308) 697-4600
Email: towntalk@swnebr.net

The Town Talk serves a menu designed to satisfy and please every taste. Daily lunch and dinner specials include Italian and Pizza on Thursday evenings, and Prime Rib on Friday and Saturday evenings. Generous salads and sandwiches are lunch time favorites or indulge in grilled Nebraska beef steaks and hamburgers, walleye fillet, succulent and fresh shrimp cocktail, grilled red snapper, and of course Chicken Fried Steak or Hot Beef Sandwich of yesteryear.

Sehnerts Bakery and Bieroc Cafe
312 Norris Ave. • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-6500

“On the Bricks” in downtown McCook, Nebraska, Sehnerts Bakery and Bieroc Café serves espresso coffees, pastries, fresh bakery breads prepared from wheat flour milled at a local flour mill. Sandwiches are fresh and delicious. Try a McCook favorite, the bieroc at Sehnerts. Sehnert’s pizzas are made in-house and oven-baked on Fridays. They attract pizza lovers region wide. Musicians often stop at Sehnerts for scheduled and impromptu concerts. Check the event schedule on the bieroccafe.com website.

The Loop Brewing Company
404 West A Street • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-5198

Loop Brewing Company is a craft brewery serving fine craft beer and brick oven pizza, appetizers, and sandwiches in a restored historic ice house in  McCook.  The Loop entertains and delights children and adults alike.

The Coppermill Steakhouse
US-83 • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-229

The Coppermill Steakhouse, a McCook tradition with a regional reputation for the highest quality steaks, seafood, house dressings and salads, an extensive wine selection and high-end whiskeys and Scotch. Enjoy thoughtful service and urban atmosphere. The Coppermill Steakhouse overlooks the Nebraska prairie with long views of the world class Heritage Hills golf course.

Joltin’ Jo’s
707 W. B St. • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-2930

Espresso and Smoothie drive thru.

Mac’s Drive-in
809 W. B St. • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-2420

Mac’s Drive-in is a tradition in McCook and is true to its name. This is a 1950-60’s retro drive-in. Diners may come in or request car-hop service.  Hamburgers, onion rings, ice cream, and other favorites from the era are prepared and served at Mac’s.

El Puerto
311 Norris Ave. • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-2936

Fresh ingredients, all recipes and sauces are made in-house, and your table will be filled with a bounty usually reserved for a special occasion with plates of burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and hot house made tortilla chips to accompany the homemade guacamole, salsa and cheese sauce.  El Purerto serves as an antidote for bland and plain flavor, décor and color.  Step in to bathe in persimmon, gold, green, pinks, sky blue and buckskin of the hand painted booths, pottery and murals.  Service is fast and considerate.

Restaurants Map

Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and Camping

Hunt Nebraska Lodge
West Highway 6 & 34 • Arapahoe, NE
Phone:  1 (800) 486-8632

Hunt Nebraska Lodge offers 9 double occupancy rooms and 1 suite.  Each room includes flat screen tv, wireless internet and beautiful log furniture.

Modern RV campground
Phone: (308) 962-7445 or (308) 962-0032 after hours

$15/day and no reservations required.

Cobblestone Inn & Suites
41502 Cambridge Dr, • Cambridge, NE 69022
Phone: (308) 697-4466

The Cobblestone Inn & Suites is a new hotel with popular amenities including a breakfast bar, whirlpool, suites, and an on-site convenience store.

Cambridge Bed & Breakfast
606 Parker Street on Highway 6 & 34 • Cambridge, Nebraska 69022 USA
Phone: (308) 697-3220

The white-on-white, four-story William H. Faling home exemplifies opulent rural architecture, which is just one reason it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Recently named one of Nebraska’s “Hidden Treasures,” this 1907 residence was build in a traditional neo-classical style.

Cambridge City RV Park
Located Eastern edge of  Cambridge and within the Cambridge City Park, easily accessible from US Highways 6 & 34.

Cambridge Nebraska, RV Park is built along the banks of the Republican River and Medicine Creek. Besides the 50 amp available hookup spaces suitable for any size RV, there is plenty of room for tent campers as well. Water and RV dump station are conveniently located just outside the designated camping area. Water, trash cans, and charcoal grills are provided in the campground.

The camp ground is shaded by a canopy of linden, oak and cottonwood trees and shielded by lilac bushes.  Recreation available  in the park include a swimming pool, splash pad, playground , softball diamond, walking trails along the rushing water of the Medicine Creek, a flower garden, bronze art, and across the Medicine Creek bridge, Cross Creek Golf Links. No reservations required.

Medicine Creek State Recreation Area
40611 Rd 728 • Cambridge,  NE  69022-9312
Phone: (308) 697-4667

Medicine Creek Reservoir also known as Harry Strunk Lake is rated by many visitors as one of Nebraska’s loveliest recreation spots. Medicine Creek State Recreation Area and wildlife lands encompass some 8,500 acres of public and water in southeast Frontier County, 2 miles west and 7 miles north of Cambridge. The lake, 1,850 surface acres with 29 miles of shoreline is a long narrow lake, much of which is shaded by mature stands of trees and lush underbrush. Medicine Creek offers outdoor buffs plenty of recreational opportunity, plus solitude and plenty of private spots to get away from it all.

Facilities at Medicine Creek for camping and picnicking range from the most modern to just the essentials. Shady Bay Campground on Trail Number 4 on the east side of the lake offers 4 modern two bedroom cabins that may be reserved up to a year in advanceThe two bedroom shoreline cabins have all the comforts of home. Full kitchen, living room, indoor bathroom with shower and each have a deck that overlooks the lake. Shady Bay Campground also has 76 hard surfaced camping pads. Most are shaded and there are 68 electrical hookups. A top notch camping spot, Shady Bay also has showers, modern restrooms, boat ramps, fish cleaning station, swimming beach, dump station, water wells and barbeque grills.

Chief Motel
612 West B Street • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-3700 or (866) 842-3252

Family owned and operated for over 40 years with 94 guest rooms and amenities include:  indoor pool and hot tube, health and fitness center, complimentary breakfast and RV hook-ups.

Horse Creek Inn
1 Bison Drive • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-4505 or (888) 463-3691

The Horse Creek Inn of McCook Nebraska (formerly the Holiday Inn Express) is a locally owned and operated hotel serving the lodging needs of Southwest Nebraska for over 15 years. The Horse Creek Inn is an upscale limited service hotel designed to fill the needs of corporate travelers and leisure guests alike.

Karrer Park
East A Street and south side of Highway 6 & 34 • McCook, NE

Karrer Park is the city’s RV and camping facility. It has 7 RV spaces and plenty of space for primitive camping. The RV spaces have electricity year round.  Restroom and shower facilities are available in the summer months.  No reservations are made at this site as stays are on a first-come, first-serve basis and are limited to three days. There is no charge to stay at Karrer Park but free-will donations are accepted and appreciated.

Red Willow Reservoir, State Recreation Area
2 72718 Trail • McCook, NE 69001
Phone: (308) 345-5899.

Red Willow Reservoir covers 1,628 acres of the nearly 6,000 acres managed for public recreation and wildlife. Camping and recreational facilities are new and modern. Red Willow Reservoir, also known, as Hugh Butler Reservoir, has top of the line camping. Willow View Campground offers electrical camp sites with a panoramic view of the lake. Areas like Bluegill, Bobwhite, Indian Point, and Pike’s Point have camping, parking lots, some picnic shelters, water wells, grills, and vault toilets.

Numerous other recreation sites are spotted strategically around the lake and offer tidy, but more primitive facilities. There are 45 camping pads with electrical hookups, 50 camping pads without electricity, and 110 non-pad sites.

Lodging Map

Please visit our sponsors:

Please thank our sponsors:

Nebraska Tourism: nebraskatourism.com
McCook Tourism: gotomccook.com
Cambridge Economic Development: www.cambridgene.org
City of Arapahoe: www.arapahoe-ne.com
Nebraska Rural Living: www.nebraskaruralliving.com

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Nebraska Rural Living

Nebraska Rural Living’s mission is to market the very real benefits of a rural lifestyle. We highlight the amenities of rural communities and spotlight successful entrepreneurs, who make good livings, free of the stress of urban environments.

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