Opportunities for outdoor summer fun flourish at Nebraska’s state parks

May 31, 2019 Jerry Kane

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraskans looking for outdoor summer fun have numerous options right in their backyard: the state boasts 76 state park areas filled with amazing wildlife and diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Nebraska’s state park system has long been a go-to for outdoor recreation. Park areas are carefully managed to support a variety of activities, such as camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing and more. Excellent equestrian trails at Fort Robinson State Park and Jeep rides at Chadron State Park offer a unique vantage point of western Nebraska’s striking Pine Ridge. For those looking for a touch of indoor comfort to go along with their outdoor experience, 10 state parks offer cabins and lodge rooms that are popular with visitors, especially the mini-lodges at Ponca State Park and the new “glamping” cabins at Platte River State Park.

Some of the most exciting park opportunities can be found at a cluster of parks along the Platte River, where activities and amenities are being greatly expanded. New park features include a floating playground, a treetop rope course, a state-of-the-art rock climbing facility, and the newly-opened Schramm Education Center, an interactive nature center featuring the state’s river, pond and lake systems. Learn more at Outdoornebraska.org/ventureparks.

For an extra memorable park experience, visitors can attend one of the many family-friendly events taking place this summer at parks across the state. Community Fishing Nights encourage newcomers to discover fishing, and living history events bring to life Nebraska’s storied past. Other events include melodramas at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, art shows, nature hikes and vintage car shows. Several parks are holding special events celebrating Father’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Both daily and annual park entry permits are available. To learn more about Nebraska’s state park opportunities, visit OutdoorNebraska.org.

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