At a population of 210, Fontana is Miami County’s smallest city. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm, providing visitors reasons for repeat visits.
Incorporated in 1889, this tight-knit community has worked hard to ensure the town’s heritage has been preserved during the last two centuries allowing visitors to step back to a simpler time. The small downtown retains some of the original architecture, such as the original Fontana Bank and Fontana Jail. The former one-room schoolhouse has been renovated and serves as City Hall.
The jewel of Fontana is located along the marshlands that surround Marais Des Cygnes River. Operated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Miami State Fishing Lake is a 101-acre treat for fishermen. The forest of oak and hickory trees surrounding it is home to a booming white-tailed deer population. The Miami State Fishing Lake is considered a best-kept secret by local outdoorsman for its secluded location and quiet environment. Nature’s peaceful sounds provide a break for visitors looking for a respite. Primitive campgrounds and docks are available. All out of state and current Kansas residents 16 and older must have a valid license to fish in Kansas. State fishing licenses can be purchased online from KDWP.
Railroad in Fontana
Fontana Welcome Sign
Fontana Fire Station
Fontana City Hall
Fontana provides visitors with ample opportunities to spend time outdoors.
Families looking for a location for their next potluck or family picnic should consider Fontana City Park as a great hideaway. The park’s shelter house and picnic tables provide plenty of space to spread out in the shade while kids will enjoy room to run.
Fontana Fire Station Park is a great spot to get some fresh air. Picnic tables are available and park visitors can see and touch an antique fire pump well, something firefighters relied on before the creation of fire hydrants.
For many families across the state, Christmastime means a day trip down to the Fontana Pines Christmas Tree Farm. The farm opens for a few weekends in November and December with a large selection of Scotch pines and Fraser fir trees that range from three to 14 feet tall. Families can trek through acres of trees until they find the perfect one; and can get into the frontier spirit by using a handsaw before dragging it back it back to the shelter house. As a reward for their successful search, families often celebrate with a cup of hot cider and candy cane while the Fontana Pines staff bundles the tree and secures it for the ride home.
Located just south of Fontana, Netherfield Natural Farm is a self-sustaining bed and breakfast with five guest rooms. Wide-open decks wrap around two sides of the house, along with a patio, sun deck, firepit and in-ground pool. Visitors who are looking to have a rural experience on their vacation will appreciate this unique chance to stay in the country.
In the spirit of Midwestern hospitality, Fontana hosts several events throughout the year that are open to the public.
A newer tradition in Fontana is the Family Drive-in Movie Night. A few times a year families can park in the Fontana Christian Church parking lot and enjoy a free movie from the comfort of their cars.
In May, the American Legion #381 decorates graves at the Fontana cemetery the Friday before Memorial Day. On Memorial Day each year they provide graveside services at Beagle, Cadmus and Fontana with lunch provided by Fontana Methodist Church.
In July, live music and free food are offered in the City Park by the Fontana Church of Christ during the Fontana Community Picnic. The picnic is a favorite for kids with inflatable water slide and gunny sack races.
To mark Fire Prevention Month, the Fontana Fire Department opens its doors so families and children of all ages can tour the building and enjoy lunch with local fire and rescue crews. Kids will also get an up-close look at the business of saving lives.
The first Saturday in November the United Methodist Church marks the start of autumn with the Fall Supper. The meal features homemade chicken and noodles, ham and turkey while looking at the changing leaves.