Visitors to state park areas in southeast Nebraska will find enhanced day-use and camping amenities. Projects completed in 2022 or to be finished in 2023 will appeal to an array of park users. The following is a roundup of those improvements and projects:
Indian Cave State Park
A new boardwalk to the cave at Indian Cave State Park has been installed, replacing the one destroyed by mudslides in 2019. This boardwalk is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and cost more than $800,000 to complete.
The St. Deroin pedestrian bridge has been replaced and a large culvert pipe and new hand railings have been installed at a cost of $120,000. This work was due to continual erosion from washouts of the bridge from high water and heavy rains. The new culvert will resist erosion and allow access to the park’s popular living history activities.
Two new, ADA-compliant vault toilets have been installed in high-use areas at a cost of $35,000 each.
The restoration of the Hackberry Hollow shower house to make it ADA-compliant is underway at a cost of $300,000 to $400,000. This includes new flooring, showers, toilets, sinks, roofing, siding, laundry facilities and more. It should be completed by this summer.
A water line replacement is in the design phase. The equestrian, group and tent campgrounds, as well as the black powder shooting range, will be connected to the line.
Rock Creek Station State Historical Park and State Recreation Area
Bridge repairs and bank stabilization, prompted by erosion along the historic Oregon Trail, have been completed at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park. The banks and bridge over Rock Creek had been experiencing sloughing.
An upgrade of the current electrical campground at Rock Creek Station State Recreation Area is in the design phase. Service will be upgraded to 50-, 30- and 20-amp service, benefiting the larger campers that are becoming more popular.
The septic system – including infrastructure, sewage lagoon and lift stations – is being inspected to find ways to improve it.
Alexandria State Recreation Area
An aging vault toilet has been replaced by an ADA-compliant one at Alexandria State Recreation Area at a cost of $35,000.
Stagecoach State Recreation Area
A new, ADA-compliant vault toilet has been installed at Stagecoach State Recreation Area at a cost of $35,000.
Pawnee State Recreation Area
The upgrade of the marina building at Pawnee State Recreation Area has been completed. The building, which is shared with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln rowing club, includes new restrooms, utilities, offices and a conference room. The rowing club uses half of the building for boat storage, meetings and trainings. It is considering adding concessions.
All 28 sites in the Area 3 Campground have been upgraded from basic to 50-, 30- and 20-amp electrical service.
Still in progress is a project to upgrade the Area 4 Campground’s remaining nonelectric campsites to 50-, 30- and 20-amp electrical service. Work should be completed by this summer.
Conestoga State Recreation Area
A design concept is underway at Conestoga State Recreation Area to upgrade campsites from basic to electrical service and add a shower house.
Riverview Marina State Recreation Area
A new vault toilet has been installed at Riverview Marina State Recreation Area at a cost of $35,000. This ADA-compliant facility replaces an aging structure that was washed away by a flood.
Branched Oak State Recreation Area
Campers at Branched Oak State Recreation Area will enjoy the electrical upgrades at Areas 1 and 4. Several sites received new 50-, 30- and 20-amp service, and new transformers were installed.
Four aging vault toilets have been replaced by ADA-compliant ones at a cost of $35,000 each.
The repair of painting of a water storage tank, completed in 2022, cost $11,500.
One project still in progress is the design for the Area 11 campground electrical expansion.
Bluestem State Recreation Area
A campground electrical expansion design concept is in progress at Bluestem State Recreation Area. The project will include upgrading basic sites to electrical and the addition of a shower house.
These state park system projects largely have been funded by Capital Maintenance Funds, which were established by the Nebraska Legislature in 2016 to help preserve Nebraska’s public outdoor recreation facilities and parklands; state and federal funding sources; and Nebraska Game and Parks’ funds generated from user fees of the state park system.