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Rebuilt boardwalk at Indian Cave State Park now open

Indian Cave State Park guests enjoy the cave from the viewing platform at the end of the new boardwalk, which is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Nebraskaland Magazine/NGPC)

Indian Cave State Park’s iconic cave, home to prehistoric Native American petroglyphs, is accessible to the public again now that construction of a new boardwalk and viewing deck is complete.

The old boardwalk was unusable after a historic bomb cyclone in March 2019 saturated the area and caused a landslide.

While the southeast Nebraska park’s old boardwalk was a series of steps and platforms, the new one has a ramp compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and an 8-foot-wide viewing deck. In addition to the ramp, a 5-foot-wide staircase accesses the boardwalk. The total length of the boardwalk is 420 feet, but from the top of the staircase, the boardwalk extends 160 feet into the canyon.

Visitors will find the new design includes a seating area and informational signs midway to the viewing platform that is just below the cave. The Missouri River also can be seen from the boardwalk. Interpretive panels are in the works to inform visitors of the cultural aspects of the area and tell the story of the petroglyphs.

The $800,000 project was paid for by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Capital Maintenance Funds.

“I am so excited to see this project come to completion and for everyone to get to use this remarkable structure,” said Kevin Holliday, Game and Parks’ southeast regional park superintendent. “Game and Parks has put in a lot of thought toward this project to enhance the experience for its visitors. These enhancements include an ADA-accessible ramp so all visitors have the opportunity to take in spectacular views and experience the natural and cultural resources Indian Cave has to offer.”

Learn more about the park at OutdoorNebraska.org/IndianCave. A vehicle entry permit is required at Indian Cave SP.

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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