Parks & Recreational Amenities

Outdoor Recreation

Ellis County offers numerous parks and other facilities for outdoor recreation. Amenities include upland game hunting, excellent golf courses, scenic walking and bike trails, and even several rodeos.


Located in the "Pheasant Capital of the World," the region is considered one of the top three pheasant harvest states in the nation and is also known for dove, prairie dog, coyote, quail, waterfowl, prairie chicken, wild turkey, antelope, and deer hunting.


Ellis County is situated midway between two large fishing lakes, Cedar Bluff Reservoir to the west and Lake Wilson to the east. Cedar Bluff is renowned for striped bass and smallmouth bass fishing. Lake Wilson features black bass, bluegill, and catfish angling.

Ellis County Fair & Rodeos

Hays is home to facilities that host the Ellis County Fair each July. The four rodeo events scheduled throughout the year make rodeo competition a valued activity for locals.


Festivals held in Ellis County include the annual Wild West Festival that recounts the community’s colorful “lawless” origins with costumes, a parade, musical entertainment, and contests. Old Fort Hays Days and the Victorian Christmas are other commemorations of the community’s vivid past.

German Festivals

The county’s German heritage is remembered with several festivals including:
  • German Heritage Days in April
  • Polka Fest in March