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cattle grazing in a state park near lincoln nebraskaThe 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 images of some of the priceless national treasures—the State Parks.

We have found the best 4 State Parks near Lincoln with beautiful landscapes, fascinating scenery, and a plethora of activities around the year. These are the top spots for outdoor lovers and nature fans.

These parks offer a wide variety of terrains, attracting thousands of tourists each year looking for a new perspective on nature.

Map of State Parks Near Lincoln NE

Here is a map of the Nebraska state parks covered in this post:

List Of State Parks Near Lincoln

Read all about each of these state parks, their distance from Lincoln, and what they have to offer.

1. Indian Cave State Park

sun setting over the missouri river in a state park near lincoln nebraskaLocation: 65296 720 Rd, Shubert, NE 68437

Located on the banks of the Missouri River and covering nearly 3,400 acres, Indian Cave Park holds the biggest attractions, namely Hardwood Forest and the hills that overlook the wide and winding river.

Discover prehistoric petroglyphs in the caves as well as the partially reconstructed village of St Deroin, established in 1853.

The park has an RV capacity of around 134 with 30-amp. And if the weather persists, you can also get to experience primitive camping in the park. So if you are planning to visit the park in summer, you will have options of hiking, camping, and picnicking.

With horseback trail rides in autumn, you can have a spectacular experience at the park. You can also see some old-time crafts in the restored schoolhouse and the general store on weekends from May through October if you are a history buff.

In addition to this, you can go on 22 miles of biking and hiking trails and 16 miles of equestrian trails. The beautiful and towering trees in the park attract hundreds of visitors to stroll through the park’s scenery, and those who are here for adventure can go on a boat ramp and go hunting.

2. Branched Oak State Recreation Area

Location: 12000 W Branched Oak Rd, Raymond, NE 68428

With 5595 acres encompassing 1,800 acres of water, Branched Oak Lake is the largest of the Salt Valley Lakes. Located 2.5 miles north of Malcolm on S-55M, the Salt Valley Lakes Flood Control Project created this park to keep Salt Creek from flooding Lincoln.

The park features two beaches for swimming, both of which are modern and primitive campsites. Even though they permit you to roam around the lake freely, they allow camping in nine public use areas only.

Campers can also set up their tents or RVs at the park’s rugged surfaced campsites with 30-amp and 50-amp hookups.

Aside from two modern shower buildings, while camping in Middle Oak Creek, you will also see a dump station, a playground, and a boat ramp up with limited overnight docks.

While at South Shore Campground, you will find paved campsites with 30 and 50-amp electric hookups and tent campsites.

The Park also offers an archery range, a shooting range, bird watching, and hunting. While in the Marina, located in the northeast part, you can rent boats, get fuel concessions, and eat at The Boat House Bar and Grill Restaurant.

3. Fort Robinson State Park

Location: Soldier Creek Rd & US Hwy 20, Crawford, NE 69339

With more than 22,000 acres of outstanding Pine Ridge scenery, fascinating history, exceptional lodging, fun-filled activities, scenic camping, and a buffalo and longhorn herd, Fort Robinson State Park is truly a natural treasure.

You can start the tour of this park with a ride on the Horse Draws ‘n Tour to get acquainted with this unique park.

Once you are done with horse riding, you can head to the Lindeken pool, which has an outdoor wading pool as well as a sun deck.

A few activities that Fort Robinson provides its guests include an outdoor evening steak cookout and hayrack breakfast.

If you are a horse enthusiast, Robinson State Park offers you a nice campground and lets you put your horse up for the night in one of the horse barns.

4. Niobrara State Park

Location: 89261 522 Ave, Niobrara, NE 68760

Located on Nebraska’s northeastern border and on the banks of the Niobrara River, Niobrara State Park offers its visitors a wide range of activities.

If you are a wildlife enthusiast and want to get some incredible pictures of wildlife, Niobrara State Park is the perfect place for you.

You will come across a significant population of white-tailed deer and wild turkeys roaming freely in the park’s cabin and tent camping areas. You will also find that the park is home to a diverse population of birds that ranges from eagles to chickadees.

If you have kids with you, the campground has playground equipment for the kids. Grills and ground-level fire rings are available for the tent campers in the camping area, which stretches for three miles long along a steep.

Campers will also find Adirondack shelters, Grills, and picnic sites at various points in the park. Besides RV and primitive camping, the park also offers a cabin overlooking the river.


Lincoln, a friendly Midwestern town, is an example of nature’s beauty and a peaceful oasis. When you visit Lincoln next, don’t forget to visit the parks mentioned above to take something memorable home with you.