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Indian Cave State Park

  • Archery Range
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Trail Rides
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Named for the large sandstone cave within the park, Indian Cave State Park encompasses 3,052 rugged acres bordering the mighty Missouri River. The park is well known for its beautiful camping and picnicking spots, as well as for its 22 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails. The park boasts sweeping views of wide, winding Missouri river and a majestic hardwood forest that puts on a spectacular show of colors each autumn. During the park’s annual Haunted Hollow each October, visitors can soak in the beauty of the season while partaking in hayrack rides, spooky campsite decorating contests, games, crafts and other family-friendly activities.

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Attractions

The cave

Indian Cave is the main geologic feature of the area and bears prehistoric Native American petroglyphs of an unknown date and origin. They can be viewed from a new, ADA accessible wooden boardwalk and viewing deck.

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.

Living history

History buffs will enjoy the restored schoolhouse and general store from the old river town of St. Deroin, where old-time crafts are demonstrated during living history weekends throughout the summer and fall.

Trails

Indian Cave State Park is well-known for its beautiful trail system and offers 22 miles of hike/bike trails, as well as 16 miles of equestrian trails. All trail users will find a variety of trails to suit their tastes, with the most scenic along the river. Adirondack shelters are located periodically along the trails.

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Wildlife viewing

Indian Cave offers excellent opportunities to view deer, turkey, woodchuck, beaver, raccoon, and many species of birds, such as barred owls and whipporwills.

River access

Indian Cave State Park has a concrete boat ramp offering access to the Missouri River. The interactive Missouri River Outdoor Recreation Access Guide shows public access sites for fishing, hunting, boating, camping and more on the Missouri River. It also serves as a navigation guide.

Seasonal events

Indian Cave State Park’s Outdoor Adventure is held annually in April and includes a 5K fun run, family activities, hayrack rides, Dutch oven cooking demonstrations and more.

Christmas in July is held annually in July and includes visits with Santa, horse-drawn sleigh rides, pioneer Christmas stories and a Christmas movie under the stars, among other events.

Haunted Hollow events, which are held three weekends in October, feature haunted hayrack rides, spooky campground decorating contest, pumpkin carving and more. For more information on these or other park events, visit our calendar.

Other activities

Wrangler guided horseback trail rides are available for those age 6 and older on weekends during the summer and fall. A covered picnic shelter can be reserved for celebrations and get-togethers. Seasonal events are offered frequently; view the calendar for upcoming events.

Camping

Camping


Indian Cave State Park offers campers Electric Plus, Electric, Basic and Equestrian Basic campsites. Ash Grove campground has 51 Electric Plus and 36 Electric campsites and Hackberry Hollow campground has 32 Electric Plus and 15 Electric pad sites. Campers will enjoy an array of amenities including showers, modern restrooms, laundry facility and a dump and fill station, as well as picnic tables and grills.

For those that like to camp among the scenic hills, there are many Basic campsites that are open for use year-round. Showers are available in the Basic camping area, as well as a water hydrant and electrical hookups. Grills and ground-level fire rings are provided. Additionally, there are Adirondack shelters along the trails for back-to-nature enthusiasts.

Camping reservations are available up to one year in advance of arrival for half of the electrical campsites in Ash Grove and Hackberry Hollow campgrounds. All other camping is first-come, first-served. All campers should check in at the park entrance or office upon arrival. For those camping without reservations, please go to park entrance booth or office upon arrival to check availability and register to camp. If arriving after hours, campers register their nightly camping fees in a raised locked box called an Iron Ranger. Self-service envelopes are provided at the Iron Ranger located at the park entrance. Check or cash only. On-site camping informational signs are provided to help guide campers with the self-registration process.


Equestrian camping

Indian Cave boasts 16 miles of equestrian trails and has an established horse camp for private horses with Basic Equestrian camping. Riders should carry drinking water. A water wagon is available for horses. Amenities include toilets, grills, tables, hitching posts and 12 corrals.

Reservations

Indian Cave State Park offers reservation of half of the electrical campsites up to one year in advance. The remaining campsites are available first-come, first-serve. Guests can plan vacations, check for availability and make their reservations online 24 hours a day, seven days a week or can call the Nebraska State Parks reservation call center at 402-471-1414, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
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Maps


Fees

A park entry permit is required and may be purchased at the park, statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors or in advance of your arrival online.

For a complete list of all state park, state recreation area and state historical park fees, view all park fees using the button below.

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Nearby attractions

Brownville and Verdon SRA

  • Brownville: Quaint, historic Brownville is home to museums, antique shops, art galleries, bed and breakfasts and bookstores, a theater and more.
  • Verdon State Recreation Area: Verdon State Recreation Area offers a spring-fed, 45-acre lake with shady primitive camping. The lake has largemouth bass, as well as bluegills, white crappies and channel catfish. Only electric boat motors are allowed on the lake.

Contact Information

Address: Indian Cave State Park | 65296 720 Rd | Shubert, NE 68437-9801
Phone: (402) 883-2575

Email: Send email