Platte River State Park’s Lincoln Journal Star Observation Tower will close temporarily to the public so it can be painted.
Located near Walter Scott Jr. Lodge, the tower will be closed Sept. 17 to Nov. 1. Hiking near the tower is permissible, but the area below the tower will be closed to traffic. The Daugherty Tower, located near Mallet Lodge, will remain open, and dining at Walter Scott Jr. Lodge will continue through the maintenance.
- Archery Range
- Food Service
- Shooting Range
- Trail Rides
New glamping cabins!
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.Make a Reservation
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 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. Learn More!
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.
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 part of the Outdoor Venture Parks initiative.
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 noon-6pm daily from Memorial Day through mid August, then from noon-6pm on weekends only until Labor Day. 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
Download Scott Lodge Menu
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.
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 at Schramm Park and Louisville state recreation areas.
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.
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.
Our glamping cabins offer the following comfort features:
- A queen bed with high-quality linens and accent pillows.
- Robes and slippers, plush oversized towels.
- Modern bathroom with spacious shower.
- Cellphone accessible alarm clock with Blue Tooth
- Kitchenette, complimentary s’mores kit and wine glasses
- Cutting board, cheese knife and bottle opener
- Electric stove top, microwave, and refrigerator with ice maker.
- K-Cup coffee machine, mugs, pots, pans, glasses,
- Silverware and place settings for up to 4 people.
- Heat and air conditioning.
- Rain Chain Gutter System; Ceiling fan with dimmable lights.
- Polished concrete floors with accent carpeting.
- Tongue and groove wall and ceiling. Cordless cellular blinds for privacy and filtered light.
- Electric lamps and power outlets with USB ports for charging devices.
- Outdoor LED lights and a lit stamped-concrete walkway plus a picnic table and padded outdoor furniture.
- An expansive composite deck with woodland views along with a raised stone fire pit and complimentary bundle of wood.
- ADA accessibility.
Check-in: 4 p.m. Check out: 11 a.m.
Policy: A two-night stay is required. Reservations can be made online or by contacting the Park Office at (402) 234-2217. Payment is required at the time the reservation is made and can be made year-to-date in advance.
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.
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.
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 5 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) campsites. Other amenities include a shower facility, modern restrooms, picnic table and fire ring/grills. There is a fenced dog park along with a playground.
The park also offers four first-come, first-served Basic sites.
Reservations are accepted for 19 of the 48 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 park office upon arrival to check availability and register to camp.
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.make a reservation
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 park and activity fees, click the button below.VIEW ALL PARK FEES
- 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 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.
- 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.
Address: Platte River State Park | 14421 346th St. | Louisville, NE 68037-3001
Phone: (402) 234-2217
Email: Send email