AT THE START
LODGING & RESTAURANTS:
The closest motels to stay at Friday evening are the U.S. Center Motel and the Buckshot Inn, located on US Route 36 in Smith Center, Kansas, 16 miles WSW of the departure point in Lebanon. Several restaurants are open in the evening.
Other motel options include Green Acres Motel & RV Park in Red Cloud, NE (21 miles from Start) and Crest-Vue Motel in Mankato, KS (23 miles from Start). Shady Grove Cabins is located about 24 miles south of the start point, in Downs; the last 1930’s roadside tourist cabins still operating in Kansas. There is also a bed and breakfast in Smith Center and another in Red Cloud (though you won’t be around for breakfast Saturday morning!)
The US Center Foundation and Lebanon City Council permit “Smackdabbers” to camp for free on Friday night in Lebanon Park, located on the south side of Kansas Avenue, just west of Main Street. The town of Lebanon is only about 2-1/2 miles from the start point, rather than the 16+ miles from the closest motels, so it’s a very convenient location. Restrooms are available, but no showers. If you are considering this option, contacting the Lebanon Visitors Center ahead of time is suggested, and a donation to the US Center Foundation is strongly encouraged.
FRIDAY NIGHT COOKOUT:
In past years, the local chapter of the American Legion Riders has sponsored a cookout for riders on Friday evening. This is held at the old mill in Wagner park in Smith Center, very close to the the motels. A donation is strongly encouraged. The cookout was canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Please check with the Smith Center CVB to verify whether the cookout is being held.
AT THE FINISH
LODGING & RESTAURANTS:
The destination marker is right at the main intersection in Rugby. A couple of larger hotels are within a block or two of the finish, most notably the Northern Lights Inn and Cobblestone Inn & Suites, which is modern and nicely appointed.
Many of the restaurants close at 8 PM, but in the past, several restaurants have stayed open later on Saturday night. The Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant is located just across the parking lot from the monument. Dakota Farms restaurant and lounge is connected to the Northern Lights Inn.
Camping in Rugby on Saturday night is available at the Pierce County Fairgrounds. There is no electricity, but public restrooms & showers are available at the fairgrounds. There is no charge to use the camping space but a donation at Rugby city hall is strongly encouraged. Camping is also available within walking distance of the monument at the Oakwood Inn & Campground on US Hwy 2.