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August 2, 2010

Camping the 50 States: Tent Camping in Nebraska

Filed under: Campground Destinations — Tags: , — Simos @ 12:05 am
Sunset Over Lake Marantha

Sunset Over Lake Marantha
Photo by: Dave Shields (Stock Exchange)

Welcome back, one and all, to the AllCampgrounds blog!

Continuing our journey across the United States, we reach the central plains, heading to the heart of cattle country, to visit Nebraska.

Just shy of the geographical center of the U.S., it’s a land dotted with small towns, often with no more than 1,000 residents.

The famous city of Omaha is the largest, but with a lot of wide open spaces come a lot of great tent camping opportunities, plus RV camping both near and far away from urban centers.

Now, let’s mosey through the area once called “Where the West Begins” and find a place to set up camp!

Buckley Park: Found near Stromsburg, Buckley Park is a preferred destination for those traveling across the scenic Highway 81 in Nebraska. A paradise for all kinds of camping, it features both a large ground for primitive tenting and a total of 34 RV electrical hookups. Buckley Park operates on a donation basis, with two-day stays provided free of charge – unfortunately, longer stays must be approved by the City Office. That said, though, the park is chock full of great, well-maintained features including a heated pool, covered dining pavilions, horseshoe complex, and more.

Broken Arrow Wilderness: Just north of Fullerton, Broken Arrow is set among beautiful oaks, framing the camp grounds and the historic “Lover’s Leap.” With plenty of wilderness trails crisscrossing the area around the Cedar River, you can enjoy a range of activities on land or in the current. Popular water sports include canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and tanking. Sportsmen (and women, of course!) can find thriving whitetail deer, turkey, and pheasant. If this is more your style, Broken Arrow has your back, with full hunting packages including your own guide, lodgings, and prepared meals.

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park: And where would we be if we didn’t mention some top state parks? Eugene T. Mahoney is open year ‘round (though some facilities are seasonal) and is one of the most modern parks in the entire state. There are a range of camp grounds to choose from, including Lakeside, which has free internet access. One of the most beloved features in the park is the esteemed Peter Kiewit Lodge, which can accommodate visitors in 40 lavish rooms, most with decks overlooking the Platte River. Families are encouraged to visit and enjoy the Aquatic Center, complete with water slides and wading pool. There’s even a small theater on the camp premises.

Fort Robinson State Park: Fort Robinson is probably the most famous of the state parks in Nebraska. The historic fort, standing since the pioneer days, has seen everything from the death of legendary warrior-chief Crazy Horse to World War II. In the present, it serves as the centerpiece of a popular public park that attracts visitors from far and wide to enjoy 22,000 acres of prime Pine Ridge wilderness. As is the custom in Nebraska’s historic parks, there’s a wide range of overnight options, including the facilities used by enlisted men in 1909! Fort Robinson is one of the most welcoming places around for horse riding, and there’s also a range of guided tours to choose from.

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