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‘Granddaddy of them all’ remains a gem

This is a big week for Chadron State Park,  the Nebraska attraction I call the “granddaddy of them all.” Chadron State Park. The park, which serves as a serene Pine Ridge getaway, gets that designation for being the first state park in a system that now has 77 diverse properties throughout Nebraska. On June 9, Chadron State Park will celebrate its 97th anniversary, and consequently the 97th anniversary of our state park system. The park actually got its beginning 99 …

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Nebraska’s first state park celebrating anniversary

Sunrise at Chadron State Park

CHADRON, Neb. – Chadron State Park, which became Nebraska’s first state park in 1921, will commemorate its 97th anniversary with its annual celebration Saturday, June 9. New to the event this year are trail running races of 1-mile, 5k and 10k and a 110-mile bicycle race, both part of the Pine Ridge Trails Race Series. The Panhandle Pedal Grinder bicycle race, which leads participants through forest and county roads of the scenic Pine Ridge landscape, will begin at the junction …

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Fort’s Market highlighting area crafts, arts, entertainment

CRAWFORD, Neb. – Arts, crafts and music are on tap for the fourth annual Fort’s Market at Fort Robinson State Park on Saturday, June 9.  The activities and vendor displays will be based at the park’s centrally located Buffalo Barrack’s from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to live musical entertainment, a bouncy house will be on-site for children. More information about the event may be found on a Facebook page titled “Fort Robinson Vendor Blender.” The event is …

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Guided wildflower hike this week at Wildcat Hills

Hoary Vetchling

GERING, Neb. – The Wildcat Hills Nature Center at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will celebrate National Wildflower Week with a guided hike through the park’s flora. The Wildflower Walk, an installment of the Wildcat Weekends series of events, will be Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at the nature center. Participants will learn keys to identifying flowering plant species during the mile-long journey. Amanda Filipi, the Commission outdoor education specialist who is leading the hike, said the unusually wet …

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Join the Great Park Pursuit for a Nebraska outdoor adventure

LINCOLN, Neb. – Enjoy an outdoor adventure with family or friends and experience Nebraska parks by joining The Great Park Pursuit (GPP) for a chance to win prizes. The goal of GPP, a partnership between the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Recreation and Park Association, is to promote active lifestyles while increasing awareness of the state’s nature-rich outdoor recreation opportunities. This is done by encouraging participants to visit up to 20 GPP sites located across Nebraska between …

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Family camp set for Aug. 3-5 at Ponca State Park

LINCOLN, Neb. – Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for a Becoming an Outdoors-Family Camp at Ponca State Park Aug. 3-5. The camp is designed for families that are new and novice campers who are looking to get started camping but need a bit of encouragement. Families will enjoy the outdoors while fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cooking outdoors, camping, archery shooting, kayaking and much more. For more information and to register, visit outdoornebraska.org/BOF. -30-

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Adopt-a-Beach program created for Lake McConaughy, Lake Ogallala

LINCOLN, Neb. – Everyone can help keep the beaches and landscapes free of litter at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas through a new Adopt-a-Beach program. Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area staff created this volunteer program, in part, as a response to public concerns regarding litter in those areas. Game and Parks has taken several steps to combat this issue, including new signage relating to litter prevention, increases in garbage collection points and servicing, as well as partnerships …

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Fort Robinson all saddled up for summer

Fort Robinson Rodeo

Nebraska has eight state parks and another 69 properties within our state park system. The largest of all of these is right in our neighborhood – the 22,000-acre Fort Robinson State Park. One of the most challenging questions people not overly familiar with our region ask is, “What is there to do at Fort Robinson?” That is certainly not because I am hard-pressed to find things for  them to do at the former U.S. Cavalry fort. It is because the …

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Roasting The Perfect Marshmallow At Your Campsite

Roasting marshmallows over a campfire is one of the highlights of a camping trip or an outdoor gathering, especially to a state park area. No question. You would think roasting a marshmallow over the coals and embers in that furnished fire ring may seem like the easiest thing to do, right? Not necessarily. How many times have you seen someone pull their stick from the fire to reveal a perfectly roasted marshmallow? That’s right, not very often. What you normally see is somebody quickly removing their …

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Celebrate music and history at Fort Hartsuff SHP June 17

LINCOLN, Neb. – Bring a lawn chair and enjoy an afternoon of music and history June 17 for “How Western Music Won the West” at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park. Bob and Sheila Everhart, recording artists for the Smithsonian Institution and historians of America’s Western music, will begin the program at 3 p.m. The Everharts are members of the National Traditional Country Music Association and have performed in Europe and Asia. The program is free, but a park entry permit …

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