Recreation & Attractions
For more recreation and heritage tourism in the entire Southeast Colorado region, go to http://www.secoloradoheritage.com.
Bent County Recreation, Historical Sites and Points of Interest
John W. Rawlings Heritage Center The John Rawlings Heritage Center is located at 560 Bent Ave., Las Animas, CO 81054. Hours of operation are 12:00p.m. – 4:00p.m. Within the museum is the Old Trail Art Gallery that highlights local artists. For more information please call 719-456-6066.
Kit Carson Museum the artifacts and information that were affiliated with the Kit Carson Museum can now be viewed and found at the John W. Rawlings Heritage Center.
The Boggsville Historic Site was founded in 1862 and is the first non-fortified settlement in Southeastern Colorado. It is located on the Purgatoire River, two mile south of Las Animas on Colorado Hwy. 101.
John Martin Reservoir State Park is a recreational haven in Southeast Colorado offering full service camping and boating. Picnicking, hiking, wildlife and bird watching are also available.
The Park is located approximately 15 miles east of Las Animas. It is one of the largest reservoirs in the State which can fluctuate from 1,000 to 11,647 surface acres, depending on water levels. CO State Parks manages the Lake Hasty area below the dam and the northeast shore of the reservoir from the dam westward to the waterfowl closure line which totals 1,727 acres of land
Las Animas/Bent County Golf Course is a 9 hole, par 34/par 35 course. Water comes in to play on the 5 of the 9 holes with Pencross Bent Grass Green and Bermuda Fairways.
The Bent County Court House renovation project was completed at a cost of over $3 million and stands as a magnificent icon in Bent County. The funding organizations included Colorado State Historic Fund, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, Colorado Department of Transportation, USDA Rural Development and Bent County. The Commissioners received the Stephen H. Hart Award for excellence in historic preservation for the project from the Colorado Historical Society on February 3, 2010. On May 1, 2010 the Rededication Ceremony took place as the county celebrated, along with its partners, the 121th year the courthouse operated as the county government building. The speakers included Bent County Commissioners, the President of History Colorado, the Director of the Division of Local Government/Department of Local Affairs, the Bent County Judge, the Chief Justice of the Colorado State Supreme Court, a Colorado Senator, and a member of the United States Congress. It is reported there were approximately 500 attendees to the rededication ceremony and barbeque.
The Kit Carson Chapel and the Ft. Lyon Cemetery are located in the county and are open to the public.
The Zebulon Montgomery Pike Expedition Trail runs through the county and the “first view” monument which marks the location Pike had his first glimpse of the “small blue cloud” that later was identified as Pikes Peak.
Other attractions include the Sonny Smith Baseball Complex, Bent County Fairgrounds, Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray demonstration tank, and the Bent County Community Center.