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Seven unusual places to stay at Nebraska’s state parks

Ready for some adventure? Ditch your hotel room this summer and stay somewhere a bit unconventional – like a tepee or a remodeled caboose. Nebraska’s state parks have several unexpected opportunities like these that you might want to try. Here are several lodging options that are sure to give you stories to tell. Tepees at Platte River State Park This isn’t a camping opportunity you get every day: to sleep in a tepee. Platte River State Park offers four tepees …

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Float these 5 Nebraska water trails

Two women kayak in a meandering backwater of a river with grass-covered sand dunes, known as the Sandhills, in the background.

With summer sizzling, now’s the time to hit Nebraska’s water trails for a chance to cool off. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission features 10 water trails along stretches of the state’s well-known rivers and creeks. For the most part, these water trails — which cover more than 500 miles — are calm and perfect for kayaking, canoeing, tubing or even tanking. Choose a trail or a portion of the trail to suit your interests and skills. Here are our top …

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Five state recreation areas will allow fireworks on July 4

Fireworks at Branched Oak SRA on July 4th. [Alternate filename: EF20080707_2.] Fowler, July 4, 2008. Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Visitors to five state recreation areas will be allowed to touch off fireworks on July 4. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission urges them to be careful when lighting fireworks. The areas that will permit fireworks from 8 a.m. until midnight on July 4 are Branched Oak (Liebers Point only), Fort Kearny, Memphis, Pawnee and Wagon Train. Signs at recreation areas will point the way to designated fireworks sites, and boundaries will be clearly marked. Use of fireworks elsewhere in …

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Limited boat ramps available at Lake McConaughy for Fourth of July weekend

Boaters planning to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday weekend at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas will find ramps available at select locations. The available boat ramps at McConaughy will be: Lemoyne low water, Martin Bay low water and Burma Road/Diver’s Bay. Two boat ramps will be open at Lake Ogallala. As of June 27, Lake McConaughy’s level was at 3,236.1 feet. That’s nearly a foot lower than a week ago, 7.1 feet lower than a month …

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Tyler Vanderheiden Memorial Run donation has $40K impact for Nebraska trails

Two women hold a large fake check while standing in front of a waterfall in a wooded area in eastern Nebraska.

The Tyler Vanderheiden Memorial Run, an annual race aimed at raising awareness and understanding of mental health, raised more than $8,000 for Nebraska Game and Parks state park trails. The donation triggers access to up to $32,000 in matching federal Recreation Trails Program funds. Event organizers, Shannon and Tim Vanderheiden, Tyler’s parents, and Trudy Merritt of Platte River Fitness Series, presented a check to Game and Parks on June 22 at Platte River State Park. “Because of their generous donation, …

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Explore the parks with these Game and Parks events in July

Spend some time this summer in Nebraska’s state parks. During July, a variety of events are planned for those interested in history, conservation, nature and just having a good time. Here are several examples: Fort Atkinson to host Living History July 2-3 Travel 200 years back in time and experience living history weekend at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park on July 2-3. On both days, Donald Hickey, a historian of the War of 1812, will present the history of the …

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Enders Reservoir SRA Extravaganza

Enjoy music, barbecue and many hands-on activities at Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area on June 25. The free daylong event will be near Area A Campground off Highway 61. All activities, craft and food vendors will be within walking distance of each other. Campground A will be closed to the public June 23-26, but other campgrounds are open for those wishing to camp. The lineup (all times MDT): A 5K run starts at 8 a.m. with registration at 7 a.m. …

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Six of Nebraska’s Family Friendly Fishing Lakes

By Renae Blum Looking for a place to go fishing with the family? Nebraska Game and Parks has identified dozens of public fishing waters across the state that are perfect for families – known as Family Friendly Lakes. These sites are safe, comfortable and have great fish-catching potential. They also have a combination of barrier-free fishing piers, fishing trails, groomed park areas, concessions, playgrounds, picnic areas and highly maintained fish populations. Here are several Family Friendly Lakes to put on …

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Lake Mac fully booked on Fourth of July weekend

RVs, boats and other watercraft parked on a beach at Lake McConaughy.

Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas are fully booked from July 1-5 for overnight campgrounds, including beach campsites. Overnight visitors interested in visiting the two western Nebraska reservoirs for the upcoming holiday are encouraged to find alternative lodging. Find local community hotels, vacation homes by rental, cabins and private campgrounds at ILoveLakeMac.com. Visitors should check availability at private overnight accommodations. Day-use activities, such as fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking and bird watching remain available with no capacity limits. …

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Catch cowboys, soldiers, and Miss V the traveling cowgirl at Fort Kearny event

Kearney County. Fort Kearny State Historical Park. Reinactors at their camp at the park. Geiser, Aug. 9, 2014. Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Join Fort Kearny State Historical Park for an afternoon of free cowboy fun from 2 to 4 p.m. June 28 at 1020 V Road, Kearney. The event will feature Miss V, the traveling cowbelle; Dan Melton, cowboy; Bob Lamberson, storyteller; and Lyle Henderson former cowboy and owner of the Platte Valley Saddle Shop. Free “old time” root beer and sarsaparilla will be served. Reenactors also will be at the park to discuss life as a soldier during the fort’s early …

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