The 1,200 residents of Burwell in Garfield County enjoy the best of both worlds, living where the cattle-producing Nebraska Sandhills meet fertile farmland. This central Nebraska town was founded in 1884 and is located not far from where the North Loup River and Calamus River join. Thousands of aquatic adventurers come here annually to float their sailboat, kayak, canoe or inner tube. River tanking is another popular pastime. The Calamus State Recreation Area is a starting point for many outdoor adventures.

Burwell has also been home to Nebraska’s Big Rodeo since the 1920s. Each July, professional rodeo cowboys from across the continent — and local cowboys who work the Sandhills range every day — ride broncos and bulls to the loud cheers of thousands of spectators. The event’s Wild Horse Race is a hoot. More than 18,000 rodeo fans come to the show over its four days.

For more information about Burwell, contact the Garfield County Convention & Visitors Bureau at or (308) 346-5210.


Discover Activities in Burwell

  • Food at Sandstone Grill

    Sandstone Grill

    The Sandstone Grill is one of the most popular restaurants in a wide radius surrounding Burwell. This eatery adjacent to a historic hotel on the Burwell town square offers ...

  • Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park

    Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is a restored 1870s frontier fortress built when settlers and the Pawnee sought military protection from the Sioux. Barracks, officers’ quarters and other structures ...

  • The Hub

    The Hub is a soda fountain, coffee shop, cafe and antique store all in one. The three-story building has been a fixture in Burwell since H.J. Coffin built ...

  • Burwell City Park

    The Burwell City Park on North Eighth Avenue has a small pond and is bordered by the North Loup River. The park is becoming a quick but mandatory stop ...

  • Calamus State Recreation Area

    The Calamus State Recreation Area is an oasis in the Sandhills near Burwell. Windsurf on a 5,123-acre lake, float on an inner tube down the Calamus River or take ...

  • Calamus Outfitters

    Calamus Outfitters

    Near the northwestern edge of the lake is another local attraction. Calamus Outfitters sets thousands of visitors afloat on the Calamus River each spring, summer and fall in canoes, ...

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