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Horses grazing at Platte River State Park

Horses grazing at Platte River State Park. Photo: MONGO, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated just a 35 minute drive to the state capital Omaha, Platte River State Park is a stunning public recreation area that provides the perfect space to reconnect with nature.

Covering an area of approximately 4,000 acres, it is situated along the scenic Platte River. It features hiking trails, fishing areas, boating and kayaking opportunities and picnic areas.

It is also a popular destination for birding, with a variety of species found in this Nebraska state park.

Due to its close proximity to the state capital, many people come on a day trip. But for those who want to stay for a couple of nights there is a very good camping ground onsite that offers RV and tent sites with electric hookups and cabins available for rent.


The park’s main attraction is that guests can enjoy a wide selection of recreational outdoor pursuits during their visit to it.

Showcased below is a brief rundown of some of the main things you can see and do at Platte River State Park.

Boating at Platte River State Park

For those into boating, Platte River State Park offers good opportunities on its 700-acre lake.

Visitors can launch their own boats or rent kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes from the park marina.

It’s recommended to check with the park office for any rules and regulations regarding boating and water activities before your visit.

Swimming at Platte River State Park

It is worth bringing your swimming costume with you to the park because there is a nice designated swimming beach there for visitors to enjoy.

The park’s 700-acre lake provides a scenic location for swimming and relaxing in the sun.

Visitors are advised to always swim at a supervised area, follow posted rules and regulations, and exercise caution in and around the water.

Fishing at Platte River State Park

Fishing is a popular activity at Platte River State Park, with the Platte River offering a variety of fish species for anglers to catch.

Some of the species found in the river include catfish, bass, crappie, and bluegill.

A valid Nebraska fishing license is required for all anglers over the age of 16, and all state fishing regulations must be followed. Visitors are encouraged to practice catch and release fishing to help preserve the park’s fish population.

The park also has a number of fishing docks and piers for visitors to use, as well as boat ramps for those who prefer to fish from a boat or kayak.

Hiking at Platte River State Park

Platte River State Park is best explored on foot. Fortunately, there are several hiking trails available for visitors to enjoy.

Overall, the park has over 7 miles of trails that vary in difficulty and length, offering options for both beginner and experienced hikers.

Some of the trails offer scenic views of the park’s lake and surrounding countryside, while others lead through prairies and forests.

Before embarking on a hike, it’s recommended to check with the park office for trail conditions and maps, and to come prepared with appropriate footwear, water, and supplies.

Picnicking at Platte River State Park

Many visitors take the opportunity to enjoy picnicking at Platte River State Park.

Throughout the park there are several areas set up for outdoor dining. Visitors can bring their own food or purchase items from the park concession stand.

At each of them there are picnic tables, grills, and shelter houses available for use. Some shelter houses can be reserved in advance, while others are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visitors are advised to always properly dispose of trash and follow posted rules and regulations.

Birding at Platte River State Park

Birding is a popular pastime at Platte River State Park, with enthusiasts from all over the state coming to check out the various bird species that reside in there.

The park is located along the migratory path of many breeds of waterfowl, making it a prime location for observing birds during their annual journey.

Visitors can also see a variety of songbirds, shorebirds, and other species in the park’s forests, prairies, and wetlands. Binoculars and a field guide are recommended to maximize your bird watching experience.


Pets are allowed at Platte River State Park, but there are some restrictions and regulations in place to ensure the safety of both pets and other park visitors.

For example, pets must be kept on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet and must be under full physical control at all times.

They are also not allowed in park buildings, on beaches, in swimming areas, or on designated hiking trails. Owners too are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs and disposing of waste properly.

Visitors should be aware of the potential dangers to pets, such as exposure to wildlife and unpredictable weather conditions. It is always a good idea to check with park staff before bringing a pet to ensure that you are aware of all regulations and restrictions.


The park offers a beautiful and peaceful environment for camping, surrounded by nature and the scenic Platte River.

For those who want to stay overnight, there are a variety of camping options for visitors. These include modern campsites with electrical hookups, primitive campsites, and group camping areas.

In terms of amenities, the campground features showers, flush toilets, and a dump station.

There is a limit on the length of stay for campers, and reservations are recommended, especially during peak season.
Campers are also required to follow park rules and regulations, such as quiet hours, campfire restrictions, and pet policies.

Park Location

Platte River State Park
14421 346th Street
Louisville, NE 68037
Phone: 417.334.4704

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Platte River State Park: