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Nebraska’s outdoor resources provide fall fun

LINCOLN, Neb. – Fall is here, and Nebraska’s outdoor resources offer a variety of ways to have fun, relax and enjoy nature.

Here are a few activities the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recommends exploring in the coming months.

State parks – Less crowded and decorated with autumn color, Nebraska’s state park areas are a great place to be in the fall. Take advantage of the cool weather and enjoy your favorite outdoor recreation activity, whether that be fishing, boating, camping, hiking or biking.

Camping – With nice days and cool nights, fall is an ideal time to spend an evening by a campfire. Nebraska’s state park system offers a range of camping opportunities and amenities, from primitive to full hookup and more modern lodging and cabins with all the conveniences of home. Water services at some parks are winterized beginning in mid-October, so RV users should contact parks to confirm service.

Fishing – The fall months offer the best open-water fishing all year, according to Game and Parks fisheries program manager Daryl Bauer. Not only are conditions more pleasant, with cool weather, less crowded lakes and fewer bugs, but fish are active and easier to catch as they fatten up for winter. With about 450 lakes and streams open to public fishing, anglers enjoy great access. The 2020 Fishing Forecast can help you choose the best spot in Nebraska to fish for the species you’re after.

Wildlife viewing – Get out the binoculars, as a diversity of bird species migrate through in incredible numbers. Turn to Birds of Nebraska – Online to learn more about what viewers can expect to see. Many other animals are active as they mate or prepare for winter. Nebraska’s state park areas remain a good spot for viewing throughout the year.

Trails – Nebraska’s state parks have a variety of trails, including rustic dirt paths, challenging mountain biking courses and wide, paved trails. Gently flowing water trails also offer the chance for a relaxing kayaking, canoeing or tanking adventure. Horseback riders also can find extensive equestrian trails at Nebraska’s state parks, many with equestrian campgrounds.

Hunting – Fall is prime hunting season in Nebraska, with many opportunities, great public access, and $8 permits for youth. Big game hunters keep busy chasing deer, antelope, elk and turkey, and Nebraska’s unique upland opportunities, which include pheasant, quail and grouse, have earned it the nickname “the mixed bag capital.” Nebraska also offers programs for hunters who want a challenge and a shot at prizes. Prove your mettle as a hunter by completing the Upland Slam or Duck Slam, and take someone new hunting to enter the Take ’em Hunting prize giveaway.

To find more information about these outdoor opportunities, visit and search OutdoorNebraska.org.

Photo: Indian Cave State Park is quite popular among campers in the fall. (Nebraskaland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission)

Updated at 5:02 pm. Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 to reflect water services are winterized starting in mid-October; electricity remains on year-round. 

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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