Platte River State Park

  • Archery Range
  • Biking
  • Cabins
  • Camping
  • Canoe/Kayak
  • Fishing
  • Food Service
  • Hiking
  • Lodging
  • Marina
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Shooting Range
  • Trail Rides
Upcoming park events

Visit Calendar

Quaint Platte River State Park is nestled halfway between Nebraska’s two largest cities – Lincoln and Omaha. Before it was a state park it was two separate camps – Harriet Harding Campfire Girls Camp and Camp Esther K. Newman – and a tract of woodlands. The charming, vintage cabins that once housed campers today provide cozy accommodations for park guests. While the quaint cabins draw many guests year after year, the park’s teepees are perhaps its most unique lodging option. Other popular draws are the park’s picturesque waterfall, scenic hiking and biking trails and two observation towers that allow those who climb to the top a spectacular view of the Platte River Basin.

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Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex

The Outdoor Heritage Education Complex offers both novice and experience shooters the opportunity to practice their archery and firearm shooting skills. The complex features an outdoor archery range with 3-D and other targets and a shooting tower, a 50-yard small-bore rifle range, a trap range with five-stand feature, an indoor 10-meter pellet gun range, tomahawk throwing and slingshots. Expert instructors are available for one-on-one instruction, and the complex often features classes and special events for the whole family.

Hike/bike trails

Platte River State Park offers miles of beautiful trails, which are extremely popular with mountain bikers, as well as hikers, trail runners and bird watchers.

Spray park

The spray park, one of the only two-tiered spray parks in the region, includes various spray features, three water slides, a waterfall, dump buckets and a fountain, among other water features. The upper level is designed for younger children and the lower level for older kids. It also has an area that may be reserved for birthday parties, as well as picnic tables, benches and plenty of shade. Guests may bring their own lawn chairs. Attendants are on duty.

The spray park is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $3 for both children and adults. Kids 2 and under may enter for free.


The Walter Scott Jr. Lodge Restaurant serves delicious meals and is open during the following times:

Mother’s Day through Memorial Day: open weekends only
Memorial Day weekend through mid-August: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m. (for the popular steak night); Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Labor Day through September: open weekends only

Meeting facility

Hold your next meeting or next group gathering at the Mallet Lodge, a day-use facility used for business meetings, wedding receptions and other events. The Mallet Lodge has a kitchen and a meeting capacity of 125 people. For those meetings that need Internet access, the Mallet Lodge provides meeting guests with wireless Internet.

Connected to the Mallet Lodge is the Daugherty Tower.  The Tower offers a gorgeous and more amenable view to park visitors looking for an alternative climb to the 85 foot Lincoln Journal Tower which is also located at the park.

Other activities

Platte River State Park offers guided horseback rides, fishing and paddle boating on Jenny Newman Lake, concessions, a covered picnic shelter that is available for rental, and an amphitheater that hosts free movie nights Saturday evenings during the summer months.

Lodging Facilities

Modern cabins

Platte River State Park offers 21 modern cabins. These cabins have fully equipped kitchenettes, and each cabin has a picnic table, fire ring, and some have screened in porches. These cabins also have bathrooms, and linens are provided. The modern cabins are open year round, and make for a cozy winter retreat. Lodging discounts offered October through April.

Download campground map
Download park map
Watch the park video tour

Camper cabins

Additionally, Platte River State Park offers 31 camper cabins. This unique lodging option grouped around central shower-latrine buildings, with four to six units in a pod. Each cabin has a refrigerator and freezer, fire grate for outdoor cooking and a picnic table, and linens are provided. Campers bring their own silverware, dishes and other supplies. The Wild Turkey, Goldenrod, Red Cedar, and Strawberries camper cabins have air conditioning. These cabins are a great choice for campers seeking an economical option.

Download campground map
Download park map
Watch the park video tour


Because of the rugged terrain and limited space, there are no RV campsites at Platte River State Park at this time. Camper cabins at the park provide guests an alternative to camping or RVers or tent campers will find great campsite facilities at other Platte Valley Parklands like Louisville State Recreation Area or Eugene T. Mahoney State Park just a few minutes away. Campers are welcome to commute and enjoy the park activities.

The park also offers four nonreservable tent sites. These sites are first come first serve walk-in sites for tents only.

Download campground map
Download park map
Watch the park video tour


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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Nearby attractions

Parks, golf and museums

  • Mahoney State Park: Eugene T. Mahoney State Park offers a family aquatic center, rock wall, Go Ape ropes course, indoor playground, theater, alpine slide, pony rides and more, as well as an ice skating rink in the winter months. Both RV and primitive camping are available as well.
  • Schramm Park State Recreation Area: Schramm Park State Recreation Area offers scenic trails and picnic day use facilities. Opening in 2019, the former adjacent Aksarben Aquarium is being expanded into a state-of-the-art nature, aquarium and interactive exploration center.
  • Louisville State Recreation Area: Louisville State Recreation area, which offers excellent opportunities for RV camping, as well as five sandpit lakes that are popular with anglers.
  • SAC Museum: Strategic Air Command Museum showcases an impressive array of aircraft that helped SAC preserve the peace during the Cold War, as well as other exhibits relating to air and space craft.
  • Wildlife Safari Park: Wildlife Safari Park is a four mile, drive-through North American wildlife adventure that brings visitors face-to-face with North American plants and animals such as elk, white-tailed deer, bison and waterfowl.
  • Quarry Oaks Golf Course: Quarry Oaks Championship Golf Course near the park offers a fabulous golfing experience set on the rolling wooded hills overlooking the Platte River. Contact Quarry Oaks to arrange your tee times up to 30 days in advance.

Contact Information

Address: Platte River State Park | 14421 346th St. | Louisville, NE 68037-3001
Phone: (402) 234-2217

Email: Send email