Nestled on the high plains of northeastern Colorado, Fort Morgan may not be the most well-known destination in the state, but it’s certainly a hidden gem worth discovering. With its rich history, natural beauty, and a variety of activities to enjoy, Fort Morgan offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful getaway, this charming city has it all. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the top things to do in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
1. Learn About Local History at the Fort Morgan Museum
Begin your journey in Fort Morgan by delving into its fascinating history at the Fort Morgan Museum. This museum is a treasure trove of exhibits, artifacts, and stories that showcase the city’s past. You can learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the region, the arrival of pioneers, and the development of Fort Morgan into the vibrant community it is today. Don’t forget to check out the famous ‘Carnegie Room,’ a beautiful historic library.
2. Visit the Historic Rainbow Arch Bridge
One of Fort Morgan’s iconic landmarks is the Rainbow Arch Bridge. This historic bridge, built in 1923, is a marvel of engineering and architecture. It’s one of the last remaining rainbow arch bridges in the United States, and it provides a stunning backdrop for photos. Take a leisurely walk or drive across the bridge to appreciate its unique design and the scenic views it offers.
3. Outdoor Adventures at Riverside Park
For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Riverside Park is a must-visit destination. This 145-acre park along the South Platte River offers various activities, including fishing, hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. The park also features a playground for kids, making it a great place for families to enjoy the outdoors. You can also explore the riverside trails, which provide excellent opportunities for observing wildlife and taking in the tranquil surroundings.
4. Enjoy Water Sports at Jackson Lake State Park
Located just a short drive from Fort Morgan, Jackson Lake State Park is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The park features a 2,700-acre reservoir that’s perfect for boating, fishing, swimming, and camping. With numerous picnic areas and a sandy beach, it’s a fantastic place to spend a sunny day by the water. If you’re into fishing, the lake is stocked with various fish species, including walleye and catfish.
5. Discover the Pawnee National Grassland
If you’re up for more outdoor adventures, a trip to the Pawnee National Grassland is a great choice. This vast expanse of prairie and grassland offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and stargazing. It’s an ideal spot for those seeking tranquility and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife make it a unique and serene destination.
6. Attend Local Events and Festivals
Fort Morgan hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year that showcase its vibrant community spirit. From the popular Glenn Miller Swing Fest celebrating the legendary bandleader to the Morgan County Fair and Rodeo, there’s always something happening. Check the local event calendar to plan your visit around these fun and entertaining gatherings.
7. Savor Local Cuisine
No visit to a new place is complete without savoring the local cuisine. Fort Morgan offers a diverse range of dining options, from classic American comfort food to Mexican and Asian cuisines. Be sure to try the local specialty, Colorado green chili, and enjoy a hearty meal at one of the many charming restaurants in town.
8. Explore the Overland Trail Museum
The Overland Trail Museum is another great destination for history buffs. This living history museum takes you on a journey through time, showcasing the pioneer and homesteader eras in Colorado. You can explore historic buildings, artifacts, and exhibits that provide insight into the challenges and triumphs of early settlers. The museum often hosts events and programs, so be sure to check their schedule for special experiences.
9. Golf at Quail Dunes Golf Course
Golf enthusiasts will find Fort Morgan’s Quail Dunes Golf Course a delightful place to tee off. This well-maintained 18-hole course offers scenic views and a challenging layout suitable for golfers of all skill levels. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and practice your swing while surrounded by picturesque landscapes.
10. Attend the Brush Rodeo
Just a short drive from Fort Morgan, the nearby town of Brush hosts an annual Brush Rodeo that’s a true celebration of western culture. If you’re visiting during the Fourth of July weekend, you can enjoy rodeo events, parades, and fireworks. It’s an authentic cowboy experience that provides entertainment for the whole family.
11. Shop at Local Boutiques and Antique Stores
Explore the charming shops and boutiques in Fort Morgan to find unique gifts, home decor, and antiques. The city’s downtown area is home to several stores where you can discover hidden treasures, local artisan crafts, and one-of-a-kind items to take home as souvenirs.
12. Take a Scenic Drive along the Pawnee Pioneer Trails
The Pawnee Pioneer Trails provide a scenic route through northeastern Colorado. You can take a leisurely drive along these routes to enjoy the expansive vistas and observe the beautiful landscapes of the high plains. It’s a great way to unwind and appreciate the beauty of the region.
13. Experience Local Arts and Culture
Fort Morgan has a growing arts and culture scene. You can explore local galleries, theaters, and art events that showcase the creativity of the community. Keep an eye out for art exhibitions, live performances, and cultural festivals that may be happening during your visit.
14. Go Horseback Riding
For an authentic western experience, consider going horseback riding in the area. There are ranches and stables that offer guided horseback tours through the beautiful Colorado landscapes. It’s a fantastic way to connect with nature and enjoy a unique perspective of the region.
15. Relax at the Aquatic Center
On a hot summer day, cool off at the Fort Morgan Aquatic Center. This family-friendly facility features water slides, pools, and play areas for kids. It’s a fun way to beat the heat and have a splashing good time with the whole family.
In conclusion, Fort Morgan, Colorado, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, outdoor adventures, and community events. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, you’ll find plenty of things to do and explore in this charming city. So, plan your trip to Fort Morgan and experience the heart and soul of the high plains in northeastern Colorado.