Nebraska May 13, 2019
One Of The Nation’s Most Stunning State Parks Is In Nebraska And Everyone Should See It
We Nebraskans are lucky to live among some of the most underrated natural beauty in the nation. From our rolling green hills to our dramatic river valleys to our majestic bluffs and buttes, we’ve been graced with some truly incredible landscapes. There’s a park in northwestern Nebraska that showcases the area’s natural beauty while also commemorating our state’s human history.
Fort Robinson State Park is a former Army post that operated from the days of the Old West until after WWII. Many of the buildings in the northwestern Nebraska park today are original, while some others have been rebuilt.
Covering more than 22,000 acres of majestic Pine Ridge land, Fort Robinson is one of the most popular parks in the state. It's known for its exceptional natural beauty and abundance of historical places and artifacts.
Over its long life, Fort Robinson has served many purposes. It was, at different times, a POW camp, a soldier training facility, the home base of the Buffalo Soldiers, a K-9 corps training center, and a beef research station, among others.
Most notably, it served as the site of the relocated Red Cloud Indian Agency. This was where the 1879 Cheyenne Outbreak happened, and it is where Sioux Chief Crazy Horse was killed in 1877. The Battle of Warbonnet Creek took place near the fort in 1876. Historical markers denote these important places; keep an eye out for them to learn more about the fort's Old West past.
Today, Fort Robinson serves as a historical attraction as well as a place of recreation. Visit the museum run by the Nebraska State Historical Society for a fascinating history lesson about Nebraska, the military, and the Native Americans who once lived here. Then head over to the Trailside Museum, operated by the University of Nebraska, for a look at the natural history of northwestern Nebraska.
While some folks come primarily for the history lessons, most of us come here to enjoy the outdoors.
A wealth of outdoor activities awaits visitors. There are 60 miles of hiking trails and 20 miles of mountain biking trails, so whether you're on foot or on two wheels you can spend hours exploring the trails.
Horse riding is another wildly popular pastime at Fort Robinson. Twenty miles of horse trails and many more miles of slightly wilder riding areas make this an ideal place to enjoy the park from the back of the horse. If you're camping or renting a cabin, there are even accommodations for your horse.
There are lots of different ways to enjoy the park's rugged natural splendor, from horse-drawn carriage tours of the grounds to Jeep tours of the surrounding buttes.
Animal lovers will enjoy the resident herds of bison...
...and longhorns, as well as plenty of other wildlife that will keep nature enthusiasts busy for their entire stay.
Fort Robinson is one of the best family reunion sites in the country, according to
USA Today. Whether you're with a large group, enjoying a solitary getaway, or anywhere in between, there's a lodging option that's perfect for you. Stay in one of the historic buildings...
...or bring your RV or tent. There are both modern and primitive campsites so you can choose your own ideal adventure. Can you imagine waking up just steps away from a view like this? The on-site restaurant will keep you and your companions well fed during your stay.
There's no end to the fun you can have here. We've really only scratched the surface of everything there is to do at Fort Robinson State Park. It's truly one of the most magnificent state parks in the country. Have you discovered it yet?
Address: Soldier Creek Road & US Highway 20, Crawford, NE, 69339. Find out more about this breathtaking state park on the
Nebraska Game and Parks website. Have you ever visited Fort Robinson State Park? What was your favorite part? Share your experiences in the comments!
For more of western Nebraska’s most spectacular natural wonders, take a look at
this road trip from the archives.