The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking input on a draft master plan being developed to improve Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park and State Recreation Area at North Platte.
The master plan covers potential new development, programming and recreational activities for current and future visitors. The plan incorporates new interpretation and programming goals centered around the life of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody and his home – Scout’s Rest Ranch.
Virtual Public Meeting
The public is invited to attend a virtual public meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Sept. 23 via Zoom. Participants will be required to register.REGISTER HERE
The public meeting will consist of a presentation of the purpose of the plan and several potential development concept designs for the historical park and recreation area. Attendees can provide feedback on several proposed development ideas, which are unique to each park area.
The pubic also is encouraged to provide additional input through a digital platform that will go live after the meeting. Check back on this web page to access the digital platform and for project updates.
Upcoming park events
Home of famed showman scout William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park at North Platte recaptures the life and career of the famed Pony Express rider, Army scout and buffalo hunter-turned-showman. Since it became a state historical park in 1965, the house and barn have been restored and a wealth of Cody memorabilia has been acquired and placed on display. The mansion is open to the public for self-guided tours from late spring until early fall.
About Buffalo Bill
William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody was born Feb. 26, 1846, in Iowa. At age 7, his family moved to Kansas, where they were among the first settlers. At age 9, Cody started working for Russell, Majors and Waddell, a freighting firm out of Kansas that also started the Pony Express. He later served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Following the war, Cody earned his nickname “Buffalo Bill” while supplying buffalo meat for the Kansas Pacific Railway. By the mid-1880s, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was in full swing, touring the United States and Europe. The success of the show enabled Cody to build “The Mansion on the Prairie,” as the locals called it. The Second Empire-style house was the largest house in North Platte in the late 19th Century. It was Buffalo Bill’s home from 1886 to 1913. He raised cattle and purebred stallions on his 4,000 acres of land. A large barn was built in 1887 to house Cody’s ranch horses and stallions.
The mansion was built in 1886, when Cody’s Wild West Show was drawing huge crowds, and money for development of the ranch and Cody’s other interests was plentiful. No expense was spared in building and furnishing the ranch, and visitors will see many interesting features. Self-guided tours are available from late spring until early fall.
The barn, along with several outbuildings, has also been preserved and filled with memorabilia from Cody’s days as a performer, as well as artifacts of ranch life. Each Halloween, park staff convert the barn into a thoroughly scary haunted barn, which has proven very popular with park guests.
Camping and picnicking facilities are available on the adjoining Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area.
Fishing; guided trail rides; and rental of kayaks, canoes, tubes and tanks and other activities are available on the adjacent Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area.
Nearby Lake Maloney State Recreation Area and Sutherland Reservoir State Recreation Area both offer great fishing and other outdoor recreation opportunities. The Golden Spike Tower in North Platte offers a view of the largest railroad switch yard in the world. Nearby North Platte offers dining, shopping and a chance to learn about the world-famous North Platte Canteen at the Lincoln County Historical Museum.
House & Barn
April 7 – May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend): Open Wednesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
May 31 – Sept. 6 (Labor Day): Open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sept. 7 – Oct. 31: Open Wednesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Open 8 a.m. – sunset; year round
Adults: (13 & up) $2
Children: (3 – 12) $1
Under 3: Free
Historical Barn Rental: $500
Wedding Rental: $300
A valid Park Entry Permit is required.
Address: Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park | 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Road | North Platte, Neb. 69147-0070
Phone: (308) 535-8035
Email: Send email