Located in North Platte, Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is one of Nebraska’s most intriguing destinations.
Covering 25 acres of land, the site houses the former home of William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody, the famous army scout, buffalo hunter, and Wild West showman.
The property includes Cody’s mansion, barn, and other historic buildings, which visitors can take a guided tour of to learn about his life and legacy and view exhibits about the Wild West era.
This Nebraska state park also hosts regular events throughout the year, including rodeos, concerts, and living history demonstrations.
Opportunities for hiking the park’s nature trails, fishing in the nearby lake and camping are also available at this captivating site.
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park provides guests with numerous ways to immerse themselves in its historic surroundings.
Showcased below is an overview of some of the main things to see and do while you are there.
Mansion at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
The mansion at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park was constructed in 1886 by William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody as a home for his family.
The two-story house has 18 rooms, including a parlor, dining room, and bedrooms. The mansion is also decorated with original furnishings, and visitors can see personal items that belonged to Cody and his family, such as clothing, photographs, and letters.
Guided tours of the mansion provide a fascinating insight into the life and legacy of Buffalo Bill, including his Wild West shows and his advocacy for conservation efforts. It also presents a glimpse into the rich and significant history of the American West.
Events at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including rodeos, concerts, and living history demonstrations.
The rodeos feature bull riding, barrel racing, and other Western-themed events. While the concerts showcase local and regional musicians performing a variety of genres, from country and folk to rock and blues.
One of the most popular presentations at the park are the living history demonstrations. These provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about life in the American West during Buffalo Bill’s era, with reenactors portraying cowboys, homesteaders, and Native Americans.
These events offer a fun, family-friendly and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Fishing at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
Although there is no fishing available at the park you should bring your rods and reels with you nonetheless as there are good opportunities to be enjoyed at the nearby Cody Park Lake.
Located located just a few miles from Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, the lake is stocked with a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, and bluegill.
Visitors can fish from the shore or rent boats from the park’s concessionaire if they would prefer to do it from the water. The lake also has a fishing pier and a cleaning station for preparing your catch.
Typically the fishing season runs from March to October, but can vary depending on weather conditions. Fishing permits are required and can be purchased online.
Hiking at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
Hiking at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is a great way to connect with nature and learn about the history of the American West.
Throughout the park there are several hiking trails that provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area.
These trails wind through grasslands, woodlands, and along the banks of the nearby Platte River. Along the way, visitors can enjoy scenic vistas, wildlife viewing, and opportunities for birdwatching.
The park also offers guided nature walks and birding tours led by knowledgeable staff members, which provide you with more detailed information about its landscape.
Picnicking at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park has several picnic areas located throughout the park.
These areas provide tables, grills, and trash receptacles for visitors to enjoy a meal or snack in a scenic outdoor setting.
The picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are a great option for families and groups looking to enjoy a day in the park.
Birding at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
The park is home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular destination for birding enthusiasts.
Visitors can observe birds such as bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons, among others.
Guided birding tours and nature walks are also available for visitors to learn more about the park’s avian residents.
Pets are allowed at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, but they must be leashed, well behaved and under control at all times. It is also the responsibility of owners to clean up after their pets.
Dogs are allowed in certain parts of the park, but they are forbidden from entering the mansion or other buildings on the property.
For a comprehensive overview of the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.
While the historical park does not offer any camping options, the Buffalo Bill State Recreation Area which is adjacent to it does.
There, you will find over 100 camping sites, including RV hookups, tent sites, and primitive campsites, suited to campers of all preferences and budgets.
Amenities at the park include showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
As this is a popular campground, it is worth making a reservation well in advance of your visit to ensure you secure a spot there.
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd
North Platte, NE 69101
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park:
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