Tucked into the rolling hills of eastern Nebraska is an area affectionately known as the Bohemian Alps. The region got its nickname from early settlers who came from the Czech lands and thought that these hills resembled the ones back home. Today, Nebraska is the state with the highest percentage of residents of Czech ancestry in the country: 5.5 percent. Several towns in the Bohemian Alps are in the top 10 communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Czech ancestry: Oak Creek (38.2 percent), Wilber (27.3 percent), and David City (28 percent). To say that the Bohemian Alps Nebraska area is still influenced by those previous generations would be a big understatement.

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It is such a wonderful surprise when we discover an area that celebrates its cultural heritage. It is from these pockets of different cultures that we remember our own lineage from generations past. Whether it is the sweet taste of a delicious Czech kolache or the lilting notes of an Irish song that our grandmother used to sing.

We encourage you to take a weekend to explore the Bohemian Alps. When you do, tell us all about your favorite place in the Bohemian Alps Nebraska area. If you have a spot you’d love for us to feature here, fill out our nomination form!

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What are some things to do in the Bohemian Alps?

There is so much to see in the Bohemian Alps region of Nebraska. From cultural areas that remind us of our past to the natural beauty of the land itself. Here are a few things to do in the Bohemian Alps from hiking to filling our tummies with nourishment:

  • Explore a man-made forest: You've heard about man-made lakes, but man-made forests? This beautiful area called the Sandhills of Nebraska was once a giant sand dune. But one man, Dr. Charles E. Bessey, believed it could become a vast and lush forest. He began by hand-planting 13,000 trees - funding ran out but over the past 100-plus years others have taken up the cause and it is now a healthy beautiful 20,000-acre forest.
  • Appreciate the history and beauty at Fort Robinson State Park: This wonderful state park is a former Army post that was active from the 1800s until after WWII. Not only does it cherish its history with restored buildings, museums, and plenty of stories, but the land itself is a majestic section of Pine Ridge land that is definitely worth exploring.
  • Go snow tubbing at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park: This state park is a wonderful area to hike, camp, and enjoy year-round. But when the snow flies, it is one of the premier places to catch some winter air in your teeth as you race down several designated toboggan runs with giggles and glee.
  • Stop for a traditional Czech dinner at Cy's Cafe: This lovely small-town cafe in Dwight, Nebraska is generally a typical cafe with burgers, fries, and chicken strips. But on Wednesdays, you can stop in for a Czech Special - homemade sauerkraut, dumplings, pork, and mashed potatoes with gravy. The cafe itself is a wonderful tribute to the owner's Czechoslovakian heritage.