of Sterling Colorado
Places of Interest around Buffalo Hills Campground
CABELA'S World Famous Outfitter
Located only 45 minutes from Buffalo Hills Campground in Sidney Nebraska. The showroom contains over 500 mounted wildlife displays, along with anything you would want in sporting goods. A very interesting store.
The Overland Trail Museum
Located on Highway 6, one mile west of Buffalo Hills Campground, the Overland Trail commemorates the historic westward migration of gold seekers and early pioneers.
The museum was named after the Overland Trail stage route that was a branch of the Oregon Trail in Nebraska. The Overland Trail followed the south bank of the South Platte River through northeastern Colorado. It is said that the Overland Trail was the heaviest traveled road in America, maybe even in the world between 1862 to 1868. The museum was opened in 1936 in the original building, which was made of native rock and designed after the early trading forts. In the past 65 years much has been added, not only to the structure, but also to the collections, which have been donated by local citizens.
Summit Springs Battlefield This is an historic place to visit. Some say they can feel the spirits of the dead. Reminder, it is illegal to pick up any artifacts (including arrow heads and lead balls) at this site. On July 11, 1869, Southern Cheyenne Chief Tall Bull along with Heavy Furred Wolf, Pile of Bones, Lone Bear, Black Sun, White Rock, Big Gip, Powder Face and 45 Cheyenne and Sioux men, women and children were killed here during a battle with the U.S. Cavalry. The Indian camp contained 84 lodges housing approximately 450 people. Even though the battle took place in the middle of the afternoon it came as a complete surprise to the Indians. Amazingly enough only one soldier was wounded and one captive white woman was killed by Tall Bull during the whole battle. Chief Tall Bull was killed north in a gully just east of the camp. Another captive white woman, Mrs. Weichel, was wounded but survived. After the battle all of the lodges were burned to the ground along with everything else being destroyed. Over 400 horses and mules were also captured. Buffalo Bill Cody was a participant in this battle and later recreated it in his famous Wild West Show.
Pawnee National Grassland
The birding, the history and the literature (James Michener researched here for information to write his book "Centennial!), the wildflower walks, the geology expeditions, and quite simply, the extraordinary beauty of this place add up to make the Pawnee National Grassland an interesting destination in Colorado. Located in northeastern Colorado, just fifty miles east of the Rockies, it's deep within the Great Plains' rain shadow. Like all the grasslands in North America it fell victim to the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, when weeklong dingy clouds filled with grit rose nearly 30,000 feet high. The climate here is characterized by low humidity, high winds and recurring cycles of drought. The annual average rainfall is a mere dozen inches per year; as such, the Pawnee is exclusively a shortgrass prairie. And yet of all the grasslands, this is the one most teeming with life.
NORTH STERLING RESERVOIR
Majestic bluffs and expansive views of the high plains greet visitors to North Sterling State Park. This boater's paradise offers 3,000 acres of pristine waters, providing an interesting array of coves and fingers to explore. Modern facilities are located nearby and support a wide variety of recreational activities available at North Sterling.
STERLING'S TREE SCULPTURES by Brad Rhea
Stop and enjoy Bradford Rhea's amazing "tree sculpture" creations! Visit local favorites at Sterling Public Library or at NJC, then stop in at Sterling and Merino High Schools to see our local mascots displayed at their finest. You can now see bronze castings of the famous "Skygrazers" in Columbine Park, and "Metamorphosis" at our visitor's center. The community has welcomed these additions whole-heartedly, and more outdoor bronzes are slated to follow. With a little advanced planning you may even catch Brad in his Main Street, Merino Studio where he does marvelous things with marble.
PAWNEE PIONEER TRAILS SCENIC AND HISTORIC BYWAY
Sterling has the pleasure of being located on the Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic and Historic Byway. This marked route makes a beautiful drive that allows you to experience the glory of Pawnee National Grasslands, as well as the rich history of the communities in the area. This trip if you start and end in Sterling can take half a day, just to drive. You may also feel the need to stop to watch wildlife, explore the grasslands, or learn more about our history. Full Color Byway information is available at the Chamber or the Tourism Information Center here in Sterling. If this land and way of life particularly interests you, arrangements can be made for you to fully experience life on the Wagon Train, just as the pioneers pushing west did. Three or four-day camping excursions are taken all summer!