The Crofton area provides outdoor enthusiasts a multiplicity of recreational activities. The variety of recreational possiblities is one of the big reasons why many people choose to make Crofton home. Fishing, hunting, golfing, swimming, boating, camping, softball — the list goes on and on. No matter what the season, Crofton has it!
Lewis & Clark Lake, located approximately 7 miles north of Crofton on Nebraska Highway 121, stretches for nearly 35 miles, with 90 miles of shoreline. The lake is named for the Lewis & Clark Expedition, which camped nearby on their epic journey to explore the Louisiana Purchase. The Missouri River is also located just north of Crofton. Today, the lake and river areas provide a plethora of recreation for nearly 3 million annual visitors!
The camping facilities are excellent in the area. Recent developments costing nearly $3 million were completed in 1997 on the Weigand-Burbach recreation area. Fishing provides a cornucopia of species, among the most prevalent being walleye, smallmouth bass, largeouth bass, northern pike, catfish, and perch. Unique to the Crofton area is paddlefishing. A one-month long paddlefish snagging season is shared by both Nebraska and South Dakota along a small stretch of Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam downstream a few miles. Summer months bring camping and boating enthusiasts.
Winter can also be a fun time in Crofton. When is ice is solid, the lake area is open to ice fishing, snowmobiling, skating, sledding and cross-country skiing.
- Crofton Courts Arboretum – This salute to nature has continued to grow over the years. The Northside Park includes Arbor Walkway and the Memorial Rose Garden. The South Park, along Nebraska Highway 12, contains Flagview Gazebo, Veteran’s Memorial and Avenue of Flags. Southside Park also contains more
than 59 species of trees and shrubs that are labeled for easy identification. Crofton is also proud of maintaining its Tree City USA status since 1991.
- Avenue of Flags – Southside City Park is the site of more than 200 flags honoring deceased Crofton veterans. The flags are displayed Memorial Weekend, July 4, and November 11. Each flag honors, by name, those individuals who have either died in service to their country, or have returned to Crofton, to live out their lives.
- Historic Argo Hotel – Bed and Breakfast – built in 1912 and on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Independence Day Celebration – Each year on the weekend nearest to July 4th, the Crofton Alumni Association schedules an All-School reunion for past Crofton High School graduates.
The Crofton area has a variety of historical and natural sites to visit and enjoy. Area museums include the Cedar County Historical Museum
(Hartington, NE), the Niobrara Museum (Niobrara, NE), the Old West Museum (Yankton, SD), and the Dakota Territorial Museum (Yankton, SD).
Situated at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri rivers a short distance from Crofton on Highway 12, Niobrara State Park offers visitors an opportunity to sample a wide range of outdoor experiences. Cabins, camping from RVs to tents, picnicking, swimming, boat ramps, horseback trail rides, paddleboats, hiking, fishing, history or communing with Mother Nature . . . it all awaits at this exceptional state park.
Ponca State Park offers more than 800 acres of scenic wonderland nestled in the wooded bluffs of the beautiful Missouri River. This spectacular park offers a variety of entertainment for history and nature enthusiasts.
Ash Fall Fossil Beds State Historical Park holds hundreds of skeletal remains of rhinos, three-toed horses, camels and other animals buried over 10 million years ago by volcanic ash around the edges of a watering hole in what is now northeast Nebraska. Still locked in their death poses, the amazingly well-preserved skeletons of these prehistoric beasts laid undisturbed, wrapped in a blanket of jagged glassy particles, until the 1970s, when scientific study of the fossilized remains began.
Just a short drive from Crofton, the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery & Aquarium provides visitors with a first-hand look at the types of fish and plant life in the Missouri River.
Historic Yankton, South Dakota
Located only 15 minutes from Crofton is historic Yankton, South Dakota. Yankton’s colorful history and tourist attractions make for a fun day of exploring. Attractions include:
- Meridian Bridge
- Bede Art Gallery
- Dakota Territorial Museum
- Dakota Territorial Capitol Replica
- Cramer Kenyon Heritage Home & Historic Tour