Get to know Sparks
Founded back in 1904 as the site of a switching yard for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Sparks — named for Nevada Governor John T. Sparks, who owned a ranch in these parts — is today a bustling city of 98,000 people, making it the state's fifth-most populous. Among attractions like the busy Nugget Event Center and the 295,000-square-foot flagship location of sporting goods retailer Scheels, Sparks is appreciated for its four-season outdoor activities, which include access to a network of beautifully tended hiking trails and the Wild Island water park. The lovely Marina is the city's centerpiece. This 77-acre lake — part of a naturally occurring aquifer that replenishes some 3 million gallons of freshwater each day — is enjoyed by residents through an array of aquatic recreation, including sailing, windsurfing, and even scuba diving.