14421 346th St. | Louisville, NE 68037-3001
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 while the gorgeous new glamping cabins offer a luxurious yet nature-immersive experience. Campers may also enjoy a state-of-the-art campground with 48 Full Hookup campsites. Other popular draws are the park’s picturesque waterfall, spray park, 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.
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.
Crawdad Creek invites guests to get into the water, get muddy and explore. The interactive feature hosts aquatic invertebrates, insects, reptiles and fish for visitors to see and interact with. Kids can catch minnows, tadpoles, crawdads and frogs and interact with the natural world. Park naturalists will use the ponds and the organisms that call them home in educational activities for park visitors.
The scenic, peaceful setting of the creek provides a place of serenity for park visitors, too. Additionally, the creek serves as the water source to recharge Jenny Newman Lake, which was renovated in 2016. The flowing water also helps maintain suitable oxygen levels within the lake to foster a healthy fishery. Crawdad Creek is a part of the Outdoor Venture Parks initiative.
The Outdoor Heritage Education Complex offers both novice and experienced 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 sporting clays 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.
A canoe and kayak access point a few yards from the mouth of Decker Creek is part of the Venture Park Initiative. The access point serves as a stopping point on the Platte River Water Trail between Schramm Park and Louisville state recreation areas.
The Walter Scott Jr. Lodge Restaurant serves delicious meals and is open during the following times:
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.
Hold your next meeting or 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.
Guests may bring their own lawn chairs. Attendants are on duty.
Memorial Day through Mid-August: Daily, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Mid-August through Labor Day: Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Platte River State Park offers guided horseback rides, fishing and paddle boating on Jenny Newman Lake, concessions, and a covered picnic shelter that is available for rental. The Nature Center is located in the lower level of Mallet Lodge. You’ll find several species of Nebraska reptiles and amphibians along with free nature programs and activities. Please look for a schedule when checking into the park at the administration building.
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park offers a family aquatic center, Venture Climb rock wall, Go Ape ropes course, indoor playground, theater, horse trail rides, 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 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.
Our three glamping cabins offer a peaceful, private and nature-immersive experience. With polished concrete floors, a raised stone fire pit and many windows to let in the natural sunlight, our glamping cabins combine modern comforts and rustic charm.
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 are offered from October through April.
Additionally, Platte River State Park offers 31 camper cabins. This unique lodging option shares a central shower and bathroom facility, with four to six units in a pod. Campers bring their own silverware, dishes, pillows and other supplies, however, the following items are included: bedding and towels, table and chairs, refrigerator and freezer, fire grate for outdoor cooking, picnic table and air conditioning (except the Whitetail cabins).
These cabins are a great choice for campers seeking an economical option.
Campers will enjoy the state-of-the-art campground with 48 Full Hookup campsites. All campsites are full service 50-amp sites that are 20 feet wide and at least 50 feet long. Reservations for 19 of the Full Hookup campsites may be reserved in advance. There are 15 pull-through sites and five Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant campsites. Other amenities include a shower facility, modern restrooms, picnic tables and fire ring/grills. There is a fenced dog park along with a playground.
The park also offers four first-come, first-served Basic camping sites.
Reservations are accepted for 19 of the 48 RV campsites at Platte River State Park. All campers should check in at the park office upon arrival. For those camping without reservations, please go to the park office upon arrival to check availability and register to camp.
Platte River State Park offers multiple facilities available for rent. Visit our pricing page for details. Picnic shelters may be reserved by calling the park at 402-234-2217.
The Venture Parks Education Team provides outdoor learning opportunities for our park guests. It is our goal to inspire appreciation and knowledge of natural and cultural resources while promoting greater understanding, support for and participation in conservation and outdoor recreation.
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.