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Seven unusual places to stay at Nebraska’s state parks

Louisville State Recreation Area now offers Tentrr camping, which include spacious canvas safari platform tents with beds. The sites also include Adirondack chairs and fire pits. (Nebraskaland Magazine/NGPC)

Ready for some adventure? Ditch your hotel room this summer and stay somewhere a bit unconventional – like a tepee or a remodeled caboose. Nebraska’s state parks have several unexpected opportunities like these that you might want to try.

Here are several lodging options that are sure to give you stories to tell.

Tepees at Platte River State Park

This isn’t a camping opportunity you get every day: to sleep in a tepee. Platte River State Park offers four tepees for guests to use. Each tepee can accommodate six to eight people. Wooden floors replace the packed earth of the traditional dwelling, offering added comfort, and a fire pit, picnic table, grill, water hydrant and pit toilet are located nearby.

Cabooses at Two Rivers State Recreation Area

At Two Rivers State Recreation Area, 10 Union Pacific cabooses have been remodeled and restored for park lodging. Up to six people can stay in a caboose, with two bunk beds in the rear and two mattresses in the cupola. The cabooses are air-conditioned and have a modern bathroom and shower. The kitchen includes a stove, microwave, refrigerator and sink. A table, with four chairs and couch for two, serve as the dining area. If you prefer dining outside, there is a deck with picnic table, grill and fire ring.

Glamping cabins at Platte River State Park

Platte River State Park’s three glamping cabins combine modern comforts with a nature immersive experience. Each cabin sleeps two, and the queen-sized bed may be rolled through oversized French doors onto the deck so guests can sleep beneath the stars. The cabins also come equipped with linens, robes and slippers, a modern bathroom with shower, kitchenette, raised stone fire pit, s’mores kit, wine glasses and much more.

Historic lodging at Fort Robinson State Park

An active military post from 1874 to 1948, Fort Robinson State Park is full of history. Today, visitors can enjoy staying in the stately buildings that once served as housing for the fort’s soldiers and officers. Stay in the 1909 enlisted men’s quarters or in the former officer’s quarters, which date from 1874 to 1909. These options sleep between two and 20 people. Comanche Hall, which can sleep up to 60, is a great option for a family reunion or other large gathering. All options have kitchens, baths and bedrooms. Larger cabins also feature living rooms.

Tentrr Camping at Louisville State Recreation Area

Tentrr’s fully equipped, ready-to-go campsites are the newest way to experience Nebraska state parks. Spacious canvas safari tents come with a bed, Adirondack chairs and a fire pit. Tentrr sites are a great camping option for couples, families and groups like outdoor clubs. In addition to the platform tent, each site is equipped with one pop-up tent for additional campers. Learn more and book your stay at Tentrr.com.

Adirondack shelters at Indian Cave State Park

Those looking for a unique camping experience can make a visit to Indian Cave State Park, which features eight Adirondack shelters scattered along the park’s trails. These three-sided wooden structures are perfect for campers who’d like extra shelter for their tents or sleeping bags. About half of the shelters have scenic views, and one area has three shelters close together, making it a popular choice for Scout groups. All Adirondack shelters are first-come, first-served. Fire rings are situated nearby.

Green cabins at Ponca State Park

The green cabins at Ponca State Park are insulated with densely packed hay bales. They also incorporate geothermal heating and cooling, recycled building materials, and eco-friendly lighting and wastewater treatment.

These two-bedroom cabins have queen-sized beds, modern kitchen and bathroom, dining area, big-screen TV, cable, wireless Internet, gas grill and an outdoor patio.

Check availability and make reservations at OutdoorNebraska.org. You also can contact the reservation call center at 402-471-1414, which is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time and is closed on holidays. A vehicle entry permit is required at each park.

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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