Nebraska State Parks

sunset over a winding river in a state park in nebraska

Indian Cave State Park

Welcome to the main page for Nebraska State Parks. This page is designed to provide information related to the many state parks located in the state of Nebraska. Below you will a list of all the state parks in Nebraska along with the address of the parks. Click on the links below for the individual state parks where you can find detailed information specific to that park.

The State of Nebraska Park Quick Facts:
17 State Parks | 10 State Wildlife Management Areas | 6 National Wildlife Refuges | 2 National Forests | 1 National Historic Site | 1 National Recreation Area
So many beautiful resources in one State; Priceless

Nebraska State Parks Activites

Camping in Nebraska State Parks

With plenty of diverse natural landscapes and scenic views, camping at the Cornhusker State is a dream come true for many! At Smith Falls State Park, be sure to stop by the cascading waterfall found within – the tallest one in the entire state. With an abundance of primitive sites, this park is made for visitors who are after rustic and rugged camping experiences.

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, on the other hand, is perfect for those who love all things modern! Shady tent sites, full RV hook-ups, and a massive water slide are the main highlights of this park. If you’re in the mood for time with nature, though, feel free to climb the park’s observation tower for a stunning view of the Platte River Valley.

Pitch your tent underneath a canopy of towering pine trees at Chadron State Park where campers can fully immerse themselves in the quiet beauty of Mother Nature. With views of Nebraska’s rolling hills and the Pine Ridge Buttes, this incredible campground is a definite fan favorite.

Related Articles: Best camping chair for bad back

Hiking in Nebraska State Parks


Those who are into laid back yet moderately difficult hikes, then the trails found at Platte River State Park are perfect for you! Routes here meander throughout the park, culminating in a stunning view of the scenic Stone Creek Falls.

Known for their fantastic hiking trails, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is also a must-visit for nature lovers and fans of the outdoors! Be sure to visit the park’s aquatic center to cool off after your hike.

With over 22 miles of hiking trails, Indian Cave State Park is a favorite among hiking enthusiasts! This 3,052-acre park offers breathtaking views of the Missouri River, as well as the beautiful natural landscapes found only in this part of Nebraska.

For the most daring of hikers, Ponca State Park has approximately 22 miles of diverse and challenging trails. The park lies next to the picturesque Missouri River bluffs, giving visitors a hiking experience that they’ll never forget!

Hiking Related Articles:

Best Backpacking Thermometer   Best Backpacking Hatchet

Backpacking in Nebraska State Parks

Indian Cave State Park offers backpackers the adventure of a lifetime. Here, twenty miles of challenging and rugged terrain wind through the park’s eroded sandstone hills, hardwood forests, crisscrossing flood channels. Feeling exhausted? Spend a night at one of the park’s many ridgetop shelters.

Fishing in Nebraska State Parks

Anglers from all over Nebraska are usually found casting their lines at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area whose waters are teeming with walleye. Large populations of white bass and channel catfish may also be found here.

There are a lot of options at the scenic Medicine Creek State Recreation Area although those wishing to reel in some crappie and walleye will surely love this fishing hole!

Considered to be the best and the most bountiful fishing spot in Nebraska, Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area, situated in the Sandhills, is an incredible spot for a scenic fishing trip with plenty of crappie and trout catches. The reservoir’s waters are also home to a large variety of bass species.

Meanwhile, anglers fishing at Oliver Reservoir State Recreation Area all wake up early to hit the prime fishing spot on the lake! Here, expect to find plenty of musky, bass, and walleye.

Day Use Areas in Nebraska State Parks

Niobrara State Park offers plenty of picnic spots with breathtaking views of the intersection of the Niobrara River and the Missouri River. Here, take in dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and a diverse set of wildlife as you enjoy your meal.

A favorite among locals, Ponca State Park provides great picnic areas that are equipped with tables and fire pits. This scenic park situated along the Missouri River bluffs are the perfect spot for an unforgettable picnic!

Those looking for adventure before sitting down for a picnic will definitely enjoy Indian Cave State Park whose picnic spots are only accessible after a long and arduous hike on rugged terrain. The spectacular scenery found in these areas are well worth the effort.

For picnics in the shade and breathtaking views, head over to Platte River State Park, which features well-kept and sprawling picnic areas.

Boating in Nebraska State Parks

A fairly new addition to Nebraska’s landscape, Lake Wanahoo and Lake Wanahoo State Recreation Area has plenty of incredible facilities for boating enthusiasts. While the lake is rather small, it’s a favorite spot among town residents who are big fans of kayaking and canoeing too.

The 29-hectare Pibel Lake at Pibel Lake State Recreation Area is also a great spot for no-wake boating. Those wishing to unwind from the stress of the city and breathe in some fresh air will love this secluded and peaceful location.

Boating is a popular activity at Branched Oak State Recreational Area, which features a marina, as well as nine ramps and 49 docks. This is a prime boating spot in Nebraska!

Bird watching in Nebraska State Parks

Ponca State Park is Nebraska’s most popular and most productive birding destination with over 200 species among its various habitats found within. The park also offers guided walks in the spring to visitors interested in Bird-watching. Here, the American Redstart and the Grasshopper Sparrow may be observed and flocks of Osprey and Bald Eagles are also often seen. In the spring, a wide range of songbird species can be seen on their migratory paths. They are most easily spotted with binoculars.

Known for its sandstone bluffs and extensive hardwood forest, Indian Cave State Park boasts of a number of interesting species, including the Barred Owl, the Summer Tanager, and the Acadian Flycatcher. The park’s hiking trails are great for exploring its diverse habitats, meandering through the less-developed southern section where plenty of birds may be observed.

Situated in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge region, Chadron State Park is an incredible spot for observing species unique to the state, such as the Lewis’s Woodpecker, Say’s Phoebe, and the Mountain Bluebird.

Beaches in Nebraska State Parks

Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area is a favorite among local families wishing to beat the scorching summer heat. The cold waters of the lake, as well as its sandy beaches, provide a ton of fun and relaxation.

The beaches at Box Butte State Recreation Area are also a popular swimming hole in Nebraska. Surrounded by large trees and extensive fields, this area is undoubtedly a must-visit!

Related Articles: Best Beach Umbrella For Wind

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering in Nebraska State Parks

Mahoney State Park features a 44-food indoor climbing wall, perfect for beginners and those new to the sport who are looking to take their skills to the next level. The wall features more than 20 routes, as well as a bouldering area with routes ranging from easy to extremely difficult.

Horseback Riding in Nebraska State Parks

Fort Robinson State Park is one of Nebraska’s most popular equestrian traditions with riding opportunities for all levels of riders. Equestrians may also ride through its extensive plains or go up into the Buttes that surround the park. For those looking for a challenge, take on the hour and a half route that takes you up into the Red Cloud Buttes. This popular park has been called by many a “horse rider’s paradise” so an excellent excursion is a definite guarantee!

Located in the northeastern region of Nebraska, Niobrara State Park has over 120 acres and an abundance of trails for equestrian use. In summer, the park offers guests a guided trail ride that takes them through the incredible natural landscapes found in the area.

If you’re looking to explore the history of Nebraska on your ride, then Rock Creek Station State Historical Park is perfect for you! Here, riders can wander the five miles of trails found within. A horse camp with over 20 individual corrals may also be availed of by visiting equestrians.

Recreational Equipment Rentals in Nebraska State Parks

Mountain bike and river tube rentals may be found at Fort Robinson State Park. Enjoy a fun day in the outdoors of Nebraska in this unique and stunning spot!

Related Articles:

Caving in Nebraska State Parks

The most popular caving spot in Nebraska, the cave at Indian Cave State Park was once a shelter for Native Americans who left behind petroglyphs carved into the soft sandstone. These historical markings – as well as the sweeping rock formations of the cave – are a wonder to behold!

Restaurants and Dining in Nebraska State Parks

Mahoney State Park features several great dining options including Parker’s Smokehouse and Peter Kiewit Lodge Restaurant, both of which boast of delicious meals made with fresh local ingredients. The smokehouse, in particular, is perfect for visitors washing to enjoy hickory-smoked St.Louis-style BBQ spare ribs.

Museums in Nebraska State Parks

At Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, take in volcanic ash exhibits that depict the life and death of creatures that date back to nearly 12 million years ago. This is a great spot for visiting families with young kids!

The Towers of Time, an exhibit that interprets the history of nature and people in Nebraska, can be found at Ponca State Park. These incredible structures are undoubtedly a must-see for those visiting the state.

Winter Sports in Nebraska State Parks

A huge variety of trails that are perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are found in Indian Cave State Park and Niobrara State Park. Those looking to take on challenging winter sports amid the beautiful snowy scenery of Nebraska should head over to either park.

Within Eugene T. Mahoney State Park lies an outdoor ice-skating rink where visitors can don on some skates and enjoy an afternoon spinning around.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Nebraska State Parks

For an unforgettable diving experience, head over to Sandy Channel State Recreation Area whose waters are home to thousands of fascinating secrets, including several boats, sculptures, and other fun surprises. Try not to kick up the muddy lake bottom, though, as it can ruin the water’s visibility, as well as your diving excursion.

Complete Nebraska State Park List and Addresses

Here is a complete list of all the state parks in Nebraska along with the address for each park. Enjoy all that Nebraska has to offer for outdoor actives and natural beauty.

Arbor Lodge State Park

2600 Arbor Ave Nebraska City NE 68410

Chadron State Park

15951 Gold Rush Byway Chadron NE 69337

Fort Kearney State Park

1020 V Rd Kearney NE 68845

Fort Robinson State Park

3200 US-20 Crawford NE 69339

Niobrara State Park

89261 522 Ave Niobrara NE 68760

Ponca State Park

88090 Spur 26 E Ponca NE 68770

Smith Falls State Park

90159 Smith Falls Rd Valentine NE 69201

Stolley State Park

2103 W Stolley Park Rd Grand Island NE 68801

Victora Springs State Park

43400 State Hwy 21A South Anselmo NE 68813

Related Posts

4 State Parks Near Lincoln, Nebraska

The capital of Nebraska, Lincoln, is not only home to some of the most famous museums and cultural attractions, but it is also popular with adventure seekers and photographers. They come here to capture stunning [...]

How Many State Parks Are There In The U.S.?

Majestic purple mountains, beautifully spacious skies stretching over amber-colored grain waving in the wind, and great plains laden with fruit—all bookended by great seas that shine in the sun; the poem that became the song [...]