Situated in a fertile valley at the confluence of the Belle Fourche and Redwater Rivers in southern Butte County, Belle Fourche is an important agricultural hub and livestock shipping point for the Tri-State Area encompassing parts of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Thanks to Seth Bullock’s lobbying efforts, the railroad bypassed nearby Minnesela in favor of Belle Fourche in 1890, securing the town’s future. Belle Fourche is often referred to as the Gateway to the Northern Black Hills and offers visitors plenty to see and do!
Prior to 1959, Lebanon, Kansas held the distinction of being the geographic center of the United States. When Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union, that location shifted to latitude 44 degrees, 58’N, longitude 103 degrees, 46’W—about 20 miles north of Belle Fourche. A survey marker and flag mark the spot, but it’s located on private land and access is difficult. In 2007, city leaders erected a monument on the grounds of the Tri-State Museum & Visitor’s Center. In addition to the compass-shaped granite Center of the Nation Monument and surrounding Avenue of Flags, visitors to the museum complex will find a variety of historical exhibits ranging from Native American artifacts and early medical equipment to military displays and paleontology, geology, and archeology exhibits. The Johnny Spaulding cabin, located on the outside grounds, dates to 1876 and provides an early look at pioneer life, while the beautifully manicured lawns are the perfect spot for a picnic or game of disc golf. The Tri-State Performers are a theatre troupe that entertain visitors with several productions throughout the year.
The Robert Clements Gallery features artwork depicting South Dakota landscapes, flora and fauna, and portraits of historical figures. Kids are always drawn to the cowboy mythology, and The Cowboy Story is a free hands-on children’s museum dedicated to telling the story of these early heroes of the American west.
When the weather is pleasant, Rocky Point Recreation Area is an ideal place to cool off! Home to the 8,000-acre Belle Fourche Reservoir and Orman Dam, visitors can enjoy activities such as fishing, swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. In the wintertime, ice fishing and ice skating are popular. Golfers can tee off at the Belle Fourche Country Club, a 9-hole, par 36 course surrounded by majestic pine trees that is suitable for all skill levels.
The Black Hills Roundup is the premier event in Belle Fourche. Originally established in 1918, it is one of the oldest and longest-running rodeos in America, drawing thousands of visitors every year for five days of fun surrounding the 4th of July weekend. The rodeo features many popular events including barrel racing, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, and more. Fireworks, carnival rides, and musical entertainment round out the bill, making it a great event for families.
The Belle Fourche Cowboy Band has been entertaining guests since 1931, performing a number of free concerts during the summer months.
The Center of the Nation All-Car Rally, typically held around Father’s Day weekend in June, features vehicles of all types, from motorcycles to muscle cars, as well as live music, poker runs, auto racing, auto cross, and a car show and shine.
Every Thursday night beginning in June and lasting into August, enjoy live music and good food during Hometown Thursdays. This summer concert series takes place on State and 7th Streets downtown and runs from 6-9 p.m.
The Center of the Nation Marathon and Half-Marathon attracts long-distance runners every summer, usually in August or September; those opting for shorter runs flock to the Fearless 5K, held in October at Herrmann Park.
Those longing for a hot meal and companionship over the holidays are welcome to attend the annual Belle Fourche Free Community Christmas Dinner every December 25.
The Belle Fourche Area Community Theater is a member-based non-profit organization dedicated to offering first-rate productions throughout the year.
Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, certain events may be postponed or canceled, and attractions may not be open as regularly scheduled. We encourage you to check with each venue before planning your visit.