City Parks

Gothenburg has four parks covering 55 acres. Summer Recreation facilities include swings, picnic areas, pool, athletic fields, frisbee golf course, football stadium, ball parks, camping areas, and playground equipment. Two playgrounds in Gothenburg have all types of playground equipment.

Lake Helen

The Lake Helen Recreation Area on the north edge of Gothenburg features activities for the whole family including fishing and picnicking. Lake Helen was originally built in the 1890’s to supply irrigation water and power to area factories, but now serves solely as a reaction area. The park is home to nearly a 20-acre lake which provides fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.  A paved hike/bike runs around the lake and throughout the park. There is also several picnic shelters, a nine hole Frisbee golf course, playground equipment, and open greenspace for various outdoor activities.

Lafayette Park and Lafayette Park Campgrounds

Located on the north edge of Gothenburg along Highway 47 and 27th Street, this shady park offers a place to relax, picnic and camp. Enjoy the beauty of the nearby Lake Helen Recreation Area just across the canal by way of the covered foot bridge. Features of the park include 30/50 amp electric and water hook-ups, shower, dump station, large camping spaces, walking trail, view of Lake Helen, playground and horseshoe courts. Whether its for a night or two, we hope to see you soon!

Open April 1st to October 31st – November through March NO water – ONLY electric – open only for self-contained campers

NEW! Book camp sites online at or contact at (308) 537-2299.

Ehmen Park

Reverend William Ehmen came to this area in March 1879 as an agent for the Union Pacific Railroad. The Ehmen homestead extended from what is now Lake Avenue to the east. Ehmen was instrumental in attracting German settlers to this area from the eastern states. His family set aside an entire block in 1890 to be the city park. Pony Express Station in Ehmen Park located between 15th and 16th Streets and Lake Avenue and Avenue F, this park offers covered picnic shelters, a playground, and the Pony Express Station. Relax at this park bordered by historic homes each with its own story. Walking Tour of Historic Gothenburg brochures are available at the Pony Express Station or the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce office. The Pony Express Station is open and FREE of charge from April to October.

Ehmen Park Arboretum:
Ehmen Park was designated as an arboretum in 2014. The park is home to over 110 trees in 62 different species and varieties. Click here to view the Arboretum Brochure.

E. G. West Park

E. G. West, a native of Sweden, came to Dawson County in 1882. He became a prominent businessman dealing in lumber, hardware and coal. A park to honor his contributions to the community is located on the corner of 20th Street and Lake Avenue. The park at one time featured a goldfish pond and beautiful landscaped gardens. No goldfish can be found today, but it provides a great escape to relax with tennis courts, play equipment for the children and pleasant surroundings.

Take some time to relax and enjoy the serenity at E G West Park. Take a step back in time with a stroll through the gardens or have some fun on the playground equipment. You can also take in a game or two of tennis at our tennis courts.
This lovely historic park located on the corner of 20th and Lake Avenue was once on the north edge of town. It was donated to the City by one of Gothenburg’s first businessmen Eric West.

Summer Recreation

Gothenburg has many choices for summer recreation. A modern swimming pool is included in a recreation area near the Community Building that also includes tennis courts, picnic grounds, paved parking and a lighted baseball park. Also, Lake Helen, on the north side of Gothenburg, features a 9-hole frisbee golf course.  For information on Summer Recreation activities contact the City Office at (308) 537-3668.

Hunting and Fishing

A variety of large and small lakes nearby provide good fishing and boating. Lake Helen on the north edge of Gothenburg has been recently stocked with trout. Gothenburg is located 12 miles east of Jeffrey Lake and reservoir and 28 miles west of Johnson Lake and reservoir.  Pheasant, duck and deer hunting are also popular sports in the area.

Gothenburg Senior Center

The Gothenburg Senior Center, located at 20th Street and Lake Avenue, serves noon meals Monday thru Friday along with providing various programs and activities for individuals age 60 and over.  For more information contact the Gothenburg Senior Center at 308-537-7465 or visit

Area Events

Gothenburg School Alumni Banquet ~ Held annually over Memorial weekend.

Fourth of July Celebration ~Held annually July 3-4th:  The Pony Express Rodeo and Mutton Busting Contest, Jr. Rodeo Queen Contest, Boy Scout BBQ, and Fourth of July Fireworks are all major attractions of this annual event, which draws visitors from across the state.

Farmer’s Market-Held annually last Thursday in July until last Thursday in September:  Purchase farm fresh produce and fresh baked goods raised and prepared by area growers and bakers.  Sales begin at 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. or while supplies last.

Annual Harvest Festival ~Held annually 3rd weekend of September: This event features foods and crafts in Ehmen Park.  An annual parade along Lake Avenue begins the weekend events.  Ehmen Park is located at 15th Street and Lake Avenue.

Numerous other activities and celebrations are held throughout the year.  For current information, please call the Gothenburg Chamber at (308) 537-3505.