These 8 State Parks In Nebraska Will Knock Your Socks Off

Nebraska is home to boundless natural beauty, and nowhere is that more apparent than in our state parks. Nebraska has eight official state parks, a number which doesn’t include the many, many state recreational areas and wildlife preserves around here too – which we’ll explore later. For now, here’s some information to entice you to visit the breathtaking beauty at these eight state parks!

Which state park is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. And if you’ve got any photos from your own state park visits, feel free to share those also! We love hearing from you.

Address: Chadron State Park, 15951 Gold Rush Byway, Chadron, NE 69337, USA
Address: Fort Robinson State Park, Soldier Creek Rd & US Hwy 20, Crawford, NE 69339, USA
Address: Indian Cave State Park, 65296 720 Rd, Shubert, NE 68437, USA
Address: Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, 28500 W Park Hwy, Ashland, NE 68003, USA
Address: Niobrara State Park, 89261 522 Ave, Niobrara, NE 68760, USA
Address: Platte River State Park, 14421 346th St, Louisville, NE 68037, USA
Address: Ponca State Park, 88090 Spur 26 E, Ponca, NE 68770, USA
Address: Smith Falls, Valentine, NE 69221, USA

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The OIYS Visitor Center

State Parks to Visit in Nebraska

February 07, 2022

What are the best state parks in Nebraska for nature lovers?  

Well, luckily (or perhaps unluckily, depending on your perspective), Nebraska is only home to eight state parks! Compare that to places like Indiana, which has 24, or even places like New York, which has 178 (!!!), and it might seem a little underwhelming. But, if you ask us, that’s not the case here – our eight state parks are a delight, and folks come from all over to experience them. Some of the most popular (which could arguably be called the “best”) state parks in Nebraska for nature lovers include Smith Falls State Park, which is home to Nebraska’s largest waterfall (yes, we have those here). Platte River State Park is another amazing one, which features more waterfalls, a tennis court, recreation areas, and more, and Indian Cave State Park is one of those places that really encapsulates the beauty of this little old state. If you’re a fan of amazing views, you can’t miss Niobrara State Park.  

What are the most popular hiking trails in Nebraska?  

According to our buddies at AllTrails.com, Nebraska is home to only a few state parks, but it’s got more than 200 awesome hikes and hiking trails to choose from! Among the most popular hiking trails in Nebraska is the Platte River State Park Trail Loop, a 6.7-mile trek near South Bend that includes horseback riding, if you so choose. Then, there’s the Wehrspann Lake Full Loop, an easy, six-mile-long hike that spans the perimeter of Wehrspann Lake (which is gorgeous, by the way). You’ll also love trails like Standing Bear Lake Loop, at Standing Bear Lake Park, and the Zorinsky Lake Trail Full Loop, which you’ll find at the Ed Zorinsky Recreation Area. For more ideas, check this list of 15 of our favorite hiking trails in Nebraska out!  

Address: Chadron State Park, 15951 Gold Rush Byway, Chadron, NE 69337, USA
Address: Fort Robinson State Park, Soldier Creek Rd & US Hwy 20, Crawford, NE 69339, USA
Address: Indian Cave State Park, 65296 720 Rd, Shubert, NE 68437, USA
Address: Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, 28500 W Park Hwy, Ashland, NE 68003, USA
Address: Niobrara State Park, 89261 522 Ave, Niobrara, NE 68760, USA
Address: Platte River State Park, 14421 346th St, Louisville, NE 68037, USA
Address: Ponca State Park, 88090 Spur 26 E, Ponca, NE 68770, USA
Address: Smith Falls, Valentine, NE 69221, USA

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