28500 W. Park Highway | Ashland, NE 68003
As Nebraska’s state parks prepare for another summer season, some are adjusting their activity hours because of a limited workforce. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission urges park-goers to call ahead before visiting a park to check on activity times and availability.
This modern state park is the perfect year-round destination for a family escape. Families can visit the aquatic center and indoor playground, explore the park’s hiking and biking trails, adventure through the treetop ropes course, climb the observation tower and, when the weather turns cold, enjoy indoor rock climbing, sledding and ice skating. The jewel of the park is Peter Kiewit Lodge, which offers 40 guest rooms, most with balconies that offer a stunning view of the Platte River valley. The park also offers an arts and crafts center, an array of cabins, as well as camping opportunities. Mahoney State Park is located midway between Nebraska’s two largest cities, Lincoln and Omaha, and is open year-round.
Looking for the ultimate outdoor adventure? Get ready for a totally unique outdoor experience. Way more than just zip lines, Go Ape is a two- to three-hour journey through the forest canopy. Our high-ropes adventure course features suspended obstacles, breathtaking zip lines and incredible views. A variety of courses are available for all ages.
The Family Aquatic Center includes a swimming pool with two water slides, diving area, zero-entry wave pool, sun deck and concession area.
Weather can dictate the outdoor fun at Mahoney, but there is year-round recreation at the Activity Center. The Activity Center hosts a large indoor playground with fun tubes, slides, net bridges and ball pit. Parents can either join in the fun or sit and relax while enjoying food and beverages from the on-site concession. The Activity Center also serves pizza, which can be delivered to cabins and lodge rooms. Birthday parties can also be booked at the Activity Center! Call the park to schedule a birthday celebration.
Mahoney State Park’s Venture Climb, housed in a new, state-of-the-art addition to the Activity Center, features a 42-foot climbing wall with both auto- and top-rope belays, as well as a bouldering structure. Climbers are treated to scenic views of the park through the facility’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Venture Climb is great for both novice and experienced climbers and is ADA-accessible.
Connected to the Activity Center is the ice skating pavilion, which is open during the winter and provides great family fun. Ice skate rental is available during Activity Center business hours. The ice skating season generally begins in mid-November, weather permitting. Please call 402-944-2523 ext. 7122 for more information regarding the Activity Center and ice rink conditions.
Hours (beginning May 26)
Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 11 p.m.-6 p.m.
Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
The pool will operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Hours (May 26-July 31)
Sunday, Monday & Wednesday: noon to 5 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: noon – 5 p.m. & 6 – 8 p.m.
Closed Tuesday & Thursday
Reduced hours begin August 1; please call the park at 402-944-2523 for hours of operation.
Located at the Owen Marina convenience store, the arts and craft center is a spot where kids can paint ceramics, learn the art of leather tooling and create wood crafts and other projects.
The John R. Lauritzen Driving Range hours of operation may be limited or closed due to staffing shortage; please call ahead to check status. Club and ball rentals are available from the Peter Kiewit Lodge on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The park also offers an 18-hole disc golf course and occasional tournaments and other events throughout the year.
Esther Marie Daniel Miniature Golf Course offers 18 holes of family fun.
Miniature Golf Hours
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Mahoney State Park offers horse trail rides May through Labor Day for adults and children age 6 and over. Trails begin at the John Wayne Stables. Tickets may be purchased at the Administration Office. Pony rides are available for children age 3 to 9.
Paddleboating and fishing are popular activities at this charming marina. Owen Marina on Baright Lake offers a concession stand, rental of paddleboats and fishing and camping supplies, basic groceries and sundry items for sale. The marina serves sandwiches, snacks and drinks daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Some concession items may be limited.
Owen Marina also offers soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, volleyballs, bocce balls, horseshoes, softballs, bats, bases, tennis balls and rackets and fishing rods and reels for loan free of charge during business hours.
The restaurant is currently closed. The park is working to secure a new vendor. Check back for updates.
Live performances take place at the Denman and Mary Mallory Kountze Memorial Theater year-round. Information on upcoming performances is available on the theater’s website. For ticket information, call the park office.
Personal equipment is permitted but must first be inspected and approved by a Venture Climb employee. There is no time limit for climbing. Those who wish to use the facility must fit into a harness provided by the park. All climbers must sign a waiver in person prior to using the facility. A parent must sign the waiver for climbers 18 and younger.
Hours (beginning May 26)
Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 11 p.m.-6 p.m.
Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
Sledding, cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, special holiday activities and many other family events are all available during the winter months, depending on the weather. Please call the park office at 402-944-2523 to check the current weather conditions for these activities.
Mahoney State Park offers a wide range of other activities for park visitors including hiking/biking trails, pony rides, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, a softball diamond and a conservancy where visitors can view native Nebraska plants. The Walter Scott Jr. Observation Tower provides a sweeping view of the Platte River and the park.
Check out free summer naturalist programs throughout the park in June and July. Ask at the administration building or the front desk of the Peter Kiewit Lodge for a detailed brochure with times and locations.
With its beautiful view, miles of tranquil trails and rustic cabins, Platte River State Park is a great complement to the more modern Mahoney State Park, and many visitors take advantage of both.
Schramm Park State Recreation Area offers scenic trails and picnic day use facilities. Renovated in 2019, the former adjacent Aksarben Aquarium was expanded into Schramm Education Center, a state-of-the-art nature, aquarium and interactive exploration center.
Louisville State Recreation Area is home to a brand new floating playground! It also offers excellent opportunities for RV camping, as well as five sandpit lakes that are popular with anglers.
The 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 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 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.
Beautiful Kiewit Lodge offers 40 guest rooms, each with, mini-fridge, microwave, coffee pot, AC and heat, wireless Internet, TV and a private bath. Sixteen have sleeping lofts and 24 have walkout decks that overlook either the park or the Platte River.
Secluded on wooded ridgetops, Mahoney State Park offers 60 cabins, 49 of which have two bedrooms, six of which have four bedrooms and five of which have six bedrooms. Each cabin has air conditioning/heat, fireplace, TV, refrigerator, range, cable TV, outdoor deck and grill and are open year round. The larger cabins are popular spots for extended families to get together.
Mahoney State Park offer Full Hookup, Electric Plus and Electric campsites. There are a total of 148 campsites. Lakeside Campground (100-148 campsites) are located close to Baright Lake and Owen Marina. Little Creek Campground (1-99 campsites) is close to a playground, basketball court and the coin operated laundry facility. Both campgrounds have drinking water, showers and modern restrooms. A dump and fill station is located conveniently near the park entrance.
Tent camping is available at Mahoney State Park in the two modern campgrounds. Tent campers will use the grassy area next to the pad site to set up their tent. Those tenting will pay the camping fee applicable to the site occupied. If making reservations, look for the site description of “tentable.” This means there is a level grassy space for a tent.
Reservations are accepted for half of the campsites in Lakeside and Little Creek campgrounds up to 180 days in advance of arrival date and paid in full at the time the reservation is made. All other camping at Mahoney State Park is first-come, first-served. Campers with advance reservations and those camping first-come, first-served must stop at the Lauritzen Administration building located at the park entrance to check-in or register to camp prior to setting up on a campsite. If arriving after hours, campers must go to the Peter Kiewit Lodge customer service desk and check in or register for a first-come, first-served site.
Mahoney State Park offers reservations for cabins and for half of the campsites. 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 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Mahoney State Park offers multiple facilities available for rent for conferences, workshops, family events and other group functions. Peter Kiewit Lodge offers several meeting rooms. Crete Carrier Riverview Lodge, popular for weddings and other larger group functions, offers a spectacular view of the park and includes a kitchen. The Activity Center’s ice skating pavilion, during warmer months, can host large events such as weddings, company picnics and special events. Catering is available. Additionally, picnic shelters and some of the larger cabins can accommodate large groups. For more information on renting a facility or to reserve a picnic shelter, call 402-944-2523, ext. 7327.
For information regarding free monthly park programs and special events at Nebraska’s Venture Parks, view the link below.
A park entry permit is required to visit state parks and may be purchased at the park, statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors, or in advance of your arrival online. View those fees, as well as attraction and amenity pricing.
Reservations are accepted for cabins, lodge rooms, and group lodges up to one year in advance of the arrival date. Reservations for camping are accepted up to 180 days in advance of arrival date. The Reservation Call Center hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (CT) and closed on holidays.
Our 76 gorgeous state park and recreations areas host a plethora of events throughout the year. From bird hikes to kayak races, Living History events to family outdoor days, our parks host something fun for every outdoor enthusiast.