Nebraska turns 150 years old in 2017, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will celebrate this milestone all year long with special events, challenges and other activities showcasing the history and culture of our unique state.
Nebraska’s state parks are hosting two very special events that have received official status from the Nebraska 150 committee.
Convergence on Sacred Ground
Ash Hollow State Historical Park
This gathering is a cooperative effort of the Friends of Ash Hollow, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Lakota Sioux. The history of Native Americans, settlers, cowboys, farmsteaders, fur traders, pioneers and military will be recognized during the event.
150 Years of Storytelling
Ponca State Park
Explore Nebraska history and the art of storytelling through presentations by more than 15 accomplished Nebraska authors, including Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen; readings and oral storytelling; and writer’s workshops at one of the state’s most scenic parks.
Living history demonstrations, a reenactment of a Pony Express ride and many other events will occur at parks across the state throughout 2017. Visit our calendar for the latest on events.
Nebraska 150 Challenge
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has joined the Nebraska Sports Council in the Nebraska 150 challenge — an effort to encourage Nebraskans to run, walk, bike, hike, swim, paddle or otherwise complete 150 miles or more of physical activity throughout 2017.
Staff at Nebraska’s state parks and recreation areas will offer 150 miles of guided hikes throughout the year. A schedule of guided hikes is below, with more to be added throughout the spring, summer and fall. For more information on events statewide, visit the official website of the Nebraska 150 Challenge.
- Feb 25: Hiking challenge (0.8 miles), Ponca State Park
- March 4: Hiking challenge (1.2 miles), Ponca State Park
- April 29: Mushroom Run (4 miles), Indian Cave State Park
- May 6: Prairie grass hike (1 mile), Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
- May 20: Free Park Entry and Free Fishing Day hikes (3.14 miles), Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
- May 27: Bird Walk (3 miles), Indian Cave State Park
- May 27: Family Bike Day bike ride (4 miles), Ash Hollow State Historical Park
- June 3: TBD, Johnson Lake State Recreation Area
- June 10: Wildflower Week Hike (1 mile), Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
- July 1: TBD, Fort Kearny State Recreation Area
- July 1: Hop a Park Day walk (3.5 miles), Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area
- July 7: Father and Daughter Walk (3 miles), Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area
- July 11: Bighorn Sheep Hike (3 miles), Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
- July 15: Prairie Grass Hike (1 mile), Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
- July 29: Wildflower Hike (2 miles), Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area
- Aug. 26: Dog Tails on Park Trails Walk (3 miles), Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area
- Sept. 1: Scavenger hunt walk and bike ride (7 miles), Fort Kearny State Recreation Area
- Sept. 9: Feathered Friends hike (.57 miles), Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
- Sept. 16: Prairie Grass Hike (1 mile), Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
- Sept. 22: Autumnal Equinox Hike (1 mile), Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area
- Oct. 1: TBD, Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area
- Oct. 14: Howl in the Hills Hike (.57 miles), Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
- Oct. 21: Pumpkin Walk (2 miles), Indian Cave State Park
- Oct. 23: Friday the 13th Night Hike (1. 5 miles), Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area
- Dec.16: Christmas Bird Hike (3 miles), Indian Cave State Park
150 Bird Challenge
Nebraska has a wonderful diversity of birds that greatly enhance the good life that we all enjoy. Nebraska’s state bird list includes a total of 461 species. Compiling a list of bird species seen is a fun and educational activity. Many people already engage in what is known as “A Big Year” when they list all of the bird species that they identify over the course of a year.
In celebration of Nebraska’s 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial), we are issuing the 150 bird challenge. The challenge consists of listing all of the bird species that you see or hear in Nebraska in 2017, with a goal of reaching 150 species.
Challenge yourself to learn more about Nebraska’s birds, or better yet, challenge someone else to a friendly contest. Download a list of birds that occur in Nebraska to help you get started. Find more birding resources at the links below:
Fish 150 challenge
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission challenges you to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th year of statehood by catching 150 fish in Nebraska waters in 2017. As you work towards this goal, share your extraordinary catches on social media using the hashtag #NE150fish and gain one entry into our Nebraska 150 Fish Challenge prize drawing. Stay tuned for more information.
Check back soon for more details on our 150th anniversary celebration events. For a complete list of Nebraska 150 events across the state, visit the official Nebraska Statehood 150 page.