Nebraskans have more than 80 state park areas to enjoy this summer. These parks offer a variety of activities for all ages.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offers the following summer park schedule to help Nebraskans plan vacations or trips to parks. A park entry permit is required for all vehicles entering these park areas:
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park (SHP) – Nebraska City, 402-873-7222. Mansion open April 14-Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch SHP – Merriman, 308-684-3428. Ranch home tours and visitor center open May 26-Sept. 3, Monday-Saturday, except closed Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Sod House Sunday, June 24, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ashfall Fossil Beds SHP – Royal, 402-893-2000. Open daily, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Call for additional open days.
Ash Hollow SHP – Lewellen, 308-778-5651. Visitor center open May 26-Sept. 3, Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and open Monday-Thursday by appointment only. Park grounds open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., April 1-Oct. 31. Ash Hollow Historical Pageant, June 15-16.
Buffalo Bill Ranch SHP – North Platte, 308-535-8035. House and barn open March 19-May 25, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; May 26-Sept. 3, open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Calamus State Recreation Area (SRA) – Burwell, 308-346-5666. Fishing tournament dates to be announced; Nebraska Junk Jaunt, Sept. 22-23.
Chadron State Park (SP) – Chadron, 308-432-6167. Housekeeping cabins available from mid-April to mid-November. Group camp/conference facility and modern campground with showers available. Chadron SP Anniversary Day, June 16; Fur Trade Days, July 13-15.
Champion Mill SHP – Enders, 308-882-5860. Exhibits open to public Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., May 26-Sept. 3.
Eugene T. Mahoney SP – Ashland, 402-944-2523. Restaurant open year-round. Stargazing, June 22, July 27, Aug. 24, Sept. 21, dusk-11 p.m.
Fort Atkinson SHP – Fort Calhoun, 402-468-5611. Visitor center and buildings open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., May 26-Sept. 3. Living history demonstrations, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., June 2-3, July 2-3, July 30-Aug. 1, Aug. 4-5, Sept. 1-2.
Fort Hartsuff SHP – Burwell, 308-346-4715. Buildings and grounds open April 1-Sept. 30, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., closed on weekends. Gift shop open May 26-Sept. 3, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or by appointment.
Fort Kearny SHP and SRA – Kearney, 308-865-5305. Open daily May 19-Sept. 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; 1860s soldier and civilian encampment and living history demonstrations May 26-28, July 4, 7 and Sept. 1-3; Pony Express Re-Ride, June 21; Family Fishing Night, Aug. 10.
Fort Robinson SP – Crawford, 308-665-2900. Museums, restored buildings, modern and primitive camping, cabin and lodging facilities available from mid-April to mid-November. Restaurant open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Park opens at 4 p.m., May 25; official opening of all park activities, May 26; Intertribal Gathering, June 9-11; Father’s Day Buffet, June 17; Art Show, July 2-4; Fort Robinson Fourth of July Celebration, July 4; American Paint Horse Association Trail Ride, Sept. 3-8.
Indian Cave SP – Shubert, 402-883-2575. Family crafts and trail rides available, living history demonstrations, May-October; Brownville Freedom Day Celebration and Fireworks, July 4; Buffalo Cookout and Fireworks, Sept. 1.
Lake McConaughy SRA – Ogallala, 308-284-8800. Go Fish Kids Clinic and Water Expo, June 2; Big Mac Treasure Hunt, June 2; Walleye Tournament, June 2-3; Shut Up and Fish Walleye Tournament, June 23; Beach Cleanup, July 7; Hobie Tropical Dreams Regatta, July 14-15; Dam Run, July 28; Kites and Castles, July 28; Hobie Mac Attack Regatta, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
Merritt Reservoir SRA – Valentine, 402-376-3320. Nebraska Star Party, July 15-20.
Niobrara SP – Niobrara, 402-857-3373. Modern housekeeping cabins available year-round availability. Horse trail rides, May 26-Sept. 3; swimming pool open daily, 1-6 p.m., June 2-Aug. 5; swimming pool open on weekends, subject to lifeguard availability, Aug. 6-Sept. 2; buffalo cookout and entertainment May 26, June 16, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, Sept. 1; Nebraska Humanities Program May 26, July 21, Sept. 1; National Park Service programs May 26, June 16, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Sept. 1-2.
Pawnee SRA – Emerald, 402-796-2362. Carp-O-Rama, June 23, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Platte River SP – Louisville, 402-234-2217. Modern housekeeping cabins available year-round. Tepees and camper cabins also available. Holiday buffet, May 26-28; horseback trail rides, swimming pool, craft center, paddle boat rentals available; May 26-Sept. 3; Father’s Day buffet, June 17; holiday buffet, July 4, Sept. 3.
Ponca SP – Ponca, 402-755-2284. Modern and primitive camping available. Housekeeping cabins available May-October. Outdoor education programs Memorial Day-Labor Day; Father’s Day Fossil Hunt, June 16-17; Father’s Day Fish Fry, June 17; Archery Sight-In, Sept. 8-9.
Rock Creek Station SHP – Fairbury, 402-729-5777. Visitor center and buildings open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., May 7-Sept. 23; Rock Creek Trail Days, June 2-3; buffalo stew cookout, June 3, 7 p.m.
Two Rivers SRA – Waterloo, 402-359-5165. Caboose cabins available May 1-Sept. 30.
Victoria Springs SRA – Anselmo, 308-749-2235. Very Important Kids’ Day, June 2.
Wildcat Hills SRA – Gering, 308-436-3777. Summer day camps at Nature Center, July-August. Nature Center weekend events: Wildflowers and Lovin’ Dutch Oven, June 9; Bighorn Sheep Hike, July 14; Outdoor Skills Workshop, July 28; Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles, Aug. 11; Moonlight Hike, Aug. 31
Willow Creek SRA – Pierce, 402-329-4053. Carp-O-Rama, June, details to be announced.