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Access restored to park areas following historic flooding

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has reopened all or portions of several state park areas that were temporarily closed after sustaining damage during March’s historic flood.

The flood damaged roads, campgrounds, electrical hookups, boat ramp and docks, buildings and other structures. Parks staff and volunteers worked quickly to clear debris, repair damaged infrastructure and ensure public safety. Even so, access to some areas and services may be limited in certain locations.

The following park areas are open, with the limitations noted below:

Dead Timber State Recreation Area:

The park is open for day use only. The lower portion of the park and campgrounds are closed. Restrooms are not currently available.

Non-powered and electric boating are permitted; however, activities that may result in full contact with the water including kayaking are restricted until further water testing has been completed.

Louisville State Recreation Area:

The park is open for day use and walk-in camping. Electrical service is in the process of being restored to the campgrounds. Individuals with advance reservations at Louisville will be notified if the status of their reservation is affected. Hydrants and non-modern restrooms are available throughout the park.

Non-powered and electric boating are permitted; however, activities that may result in full contact with the water including swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking are restricted until further water testing has been completed.

The canoe access ramp at the west end of the park is currently inaccessible.

Access to trails located at the west end of the park is closed due to debris and washout conditions.

Concessions will operate with reduced hours until Memorial Day Weekend, when normal hours resume.

Niobrara State Park:

The park is accessible only by the following routes:

South/West Route: Hwy. 275/20 west to Newport, Nebraska; Hwy. 137 north to Hwy. 12, Hwy. 12 east to Niobrara State Park (Hwy. 12 is closed east of the Park).

North Route: Neb./S.D. Hwy. 81 to S.D. Hwy. 50 (from Yankton, S.D.) west to S.D. Hwy. 46; S.D. Hwy. 46 west to Hwy. 18 at Pickstown, S.D., Hwy. 18 south to Hwy. 281, east to Hwy. 12, east to the park.

It is anticipated that trail ride and swimming pool activity schedules may be limited this season, dependent on road conditions and staff availability. Contact the Niobrara State Park office at 402-857-3373 for updates.

Willow Creek State Recreation Area:

The park is open for day use and walk-in camping. Electrical service is in the process of being restored to the campgrounds. Individuals with advance reservations will be notified if the status of their reservation is affected.

The main body of the lake is open to all boating. The wooded west end of the lake is restricted to no-wake boating. Activities that may result in full contact with the water including swimming, water skiing, and kayaking are restricted until further water testing has been completed.

The West Creek/Upper Lake portion of the trail system is closed.

Schramm Park State Recreation Area:

Canoe and kayak access is temporarily closed.

Pelican Point State Recreation Area:

Boat docks are not accessible due to high water.

Indian Cave State Park:

The park is open with the following limitations: the boat ramp remains closed; all other areas of the park are open and access to the cave trail has been restored.

Riverview Marina State Recreation Area remains closed as it is still impacted by flood waters.

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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