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Explore Ponca SP during Hiking Marathon Challenge

LINCOLN, Neb. – Stretch your legs and explore Ponca State Park’s beautiful landscapes by participating in the Hiking Marathon Challenge. Now through March 11, the public is invited to hike each of the park’s nine trails – about 22 miles in total – for the chance to win a door prize. All ages are welcome to participate. The Hiking Marathon Challenge can be completed individually or with family and friends. Guided hikes will be held on the following dates: Jan. …

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Allie’s Outdoor Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. The time when we look back and reflect on all that we managed to accomplish in 2016. The time of year when we are already dreaming of warmer days ahead and what 2017 will bring. It’s the time of resolutions. If you are the outdoorsy type like me, you may share in some of my new years’ resolutions. 1) Improve my orienteering skills I know that the sun rises early in the East and …

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The Best Holiday Gift of All: Access to the Great Outdoors!

Before the accident, he loved to hunt, fish, hike, watch wildlife, target shoot and camp. But in the last six months, he has questioned whether it would even be possible to do any of those outdoor activities ever again without being able to use his legs to walk. You see, my son-in-law, Tyler Nichols, of Omaha, NE, while serving with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, was involved in a horrific motor vehicle accident on Father’s …

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Some activities cancelled Dec. 17 at Platte River SP

LINCOLN – Due to inclement weather, all holiday activities Dec. 17 at Platte River State Park scheduled for 3 p.m. and later have been cancelled. This includes the yule log quest and hayrack rides. Events scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. will continue as planned, including kids’ crafts, visits with Santa and marshmallow roasting. The Scott Lodge Restaurant will remain open. A park entry permit is required.

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2017 park entry permits available on Game and Parks’ website

LINCOLN – The 2017 vehicle park entry permits for Nebraska state parks are now available on the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s website. Persons purchasing these permits through the website will be able to print a temporary permit upon completion of their transaction. The physical permit will be mailed to the address provided, typically within 10 days. Temporary permits are valid through noon Central time on Jan. 15, 2017. Beginning in 2017, there is a separate permit for vehicles licensed …

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Experience state parks during Winterfest

LINCOLN – Winterfest is officially underway. Now through April, state parks across Nebraska are celebrating the season through more than a dozen festive public events and special seasonal offerings. During Winterfest’s Christmas-themed events, guests can sit for free family portraits, enjoy holiday dinners and live theater, and participate in crafts, horse-drawn park tours, educational programs and more. Among the activities slated for this winter: — Christmas in the Woods, Dec. 10 and 17, Ponca State Park, where guests can bake …

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Mahoney SP’s Lodge Restaurant open on Christmas Day

LINCOLN – The Lodge Restaurant at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park will be open on Dec. 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for a holiday meal. Christmas diners will be able to enjoy a New York Strip carving station and a seafood buffet. The price is $25.95 for adults, $19.99 for seniors, and $12.95 for kids ages 5-12. Kids under age 5 eat for free. Make reservations by calling the park at 402-944-2523, extension 7127. A park entry permit is required.

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Enjoy holiday, winter festivities at Ponca State Park

LINCOLN – Celebrate the season with winter and holiday fun at Ponca State Park (SP). Now through the last day of winter, the park offers a variety of seasonal events for the whole family. Christmas in the Woods features crafts, educational programs, free family portraits and lighted hayrack rides. The event is held each Saturday now through Dec. 17. Show off your handiwork during the 3rd Annual Snowman Building Contest, open now through March 19. The first place prize is …

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Lake Minatare Opening to Birdwatchers Dec. 10

Mallard

The public will have a unique opportunity for viewing birds during an event at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event marks the only opportunity for the public to access the 2,158-acre reservoir on the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge for its annual closure between Oct. 15 and Jan. 14. Birdwatchers who want to participate in the one-day event may arrive at the lighthouse on Lakeview Point any time between 8-11 a.m. Binoculars, spotting scopes and …

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Family-friendly archery on tap Dec. 3 at Platte River SP

LINCOLN – Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for a fun day of free archery Dec. 3 at Archery on Fire at Platte River State Park. All ages and experience levels are welcome for this event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex. Equipment and instruction will be provided. Archery, 3-D archery, crossbows and tomahawk throwing will be available. There also will be campground games, kids’ crafts and a Nerf …

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