?: schramm park state recreation area
?: jeff beiermann / omaha world-herald

In this age of constant connection, we still value one of our most important connections of all – our connection to nature.

Our region is replete with dynamic state parks and outdoor recreation areas – none too far from home. Chart your course and then have at it: recreate, refill your bucket and repeat. On land or in the water. Spring to winter and seasons in-between.

?: eugene t. mahoney state park
?: julia nagy / omaha world-herald
?: fort atkinson state historical park
?: kent sievers / omaha world-herald

Eugene T. Mahoney State ParkOffering a spectacular array of lodging and activity, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park encompasses hiking trails, a family water park/water slides, fishing for bluegill and channel catfish, the Walter Scott Jr. Observation Tower and the new Go Ape Treetop Adventure, a self-guided journey through the forest canopy that features aerial challenges and zip lines back to solid ground.

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park – Throughout the spring and fall, crowds pour into the park for its Living History Weekends, a mix of dedicated re-enactors portraying life at an 1820’s Fort Atkinson. While you’re there, bone up on the “Scurvy Apocalypse” and how it shaped the mission of Fort Atkinson, which is celebrating its bicentennial in 2019. Special commemorative events continue through next year.

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?: fremont lakes state recreation area
?: dave uhlig
?: lake manawa state park
?: mark davis / omaha world-herald

Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area – Don’t miss one of eastern Nebraska’s hottest spots for camping, picnicking and water sports: boating, fishing and water skiing. (Twenty sandpit lakes offer access to nearly 300 water acres.)

(*Flooding update (as of mid-June): Fisherman’s Point Campground in the north camping area will be closed to all camping until further notice. Portions of roadways damaged by flooding have been closed. The public is reminded to observe cautionary signage and barricades.)

Lake Manawa State Park – Another one of the most popular recreation areas in the metro area, 1529-acre Lake Manawa State Park welcomes campers, hikers and boats of all sizes. (Beautiful Lake Manawa spans more than 770-acres.) Manawa is a Native American term meaning “peace and comfort,” both of which exist here naturally.

?: louisville state recreation area
?: brendan sullivan / omaha world-herald
?: platte river state park
?: jenny nguyen-wheatley

Louisville State Recreation Area – Described as “a camper’s park,” Louisville State Recreation Area offers prime camping and outdoor recreation with canoe access to the Platte River, and five sandpit lakes, one of which (Lake #2) is outfitted with a brand-new floating playground.

(*Flooding update (as of mid-June): Louisville SRA is open for day use and walk-in camping. Electrical service has been restored to most but not all electrical camp sites.)

Platte River State Park – Serenity reigns at Platte River State Park with its scenic waterfall, spray park, picturesque hiking and biking trails, and two observation towers that reward climbers with a spectacular view of both the Platte River Basin and nearby Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. Campers, take your pick – cozy, vintage cabins or more luxurious glamping (glamour camping) accommodations.

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?: schramm park state recreation area 
?: ryan soderlin / omaha world-herald

Schramm Park State Recreation Area – This scenic escape features well-maintained wooded trails, picnic areas, the state-of-the-art Schramm Education Center (formerly known as the Aksarben Aquarium), and Nebraska’s oldest fish hatchery. Bird-watchers tend to flock here, especially during the spring migration, and a geologic display rocks for family exploration.

Two Rivers State Recreation Area Sleep in any of ten refurbished Union Pacific caboose “cabins,” fish for trout in one of Two River’s many sandpit lakes or rent a bike and ride.

(*Flooding update (as of mid-June): Electrical service has been restored to most but not all electrical camp sites. Cabooses are now open. The Riverside day use area is accessible, but the Riverside campground, Cottonwood campground, and the equestrian campground are temporarily closed.) 

Waubonsie State Park A site on the national Lewis and Clark Historical Trail, this park offers cabins and camping, fishing, hiking and horseback riding (seven miles of foot trails and eight miles of equestrian trails) + cross-country skiing in the winter.

No coasting also means relaxing with gusto – and here, outdoor recreation has always been “in.”


We’re only as boring as you are.


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