Platte River State Park
Platte River State Park is an innovative area, where the Commission has implemented some intriguing concepts in park lodging, management and design. This up-to-the-minute facility offers a wide range of activities and lodging choices, while keeping costs to a minimum.
The park sits about halfway between the state's two largest cities of Omaha and Lincoln. The 418-acre park merged what were once three separate areas — Harriet Harding Campfire Girls Camp, Camp Esther K. Newman, and a 104-acre wooded area.
Activities range from swimming at the supervised pool to guided horseback trail rides through the timbered hills. Sights to see include the quaint Red Barn (converted to a group camp) and a charming little waterfall. If you're watchful, you might even spot a flock of wild turkeys as they wander past your cabin. Those who like to rise with the sun should indulge in a hike through the picturesque woodlands.
Recreational equipment is available at Owen Landing, where you can rent a paddleboat to churn around Jenny Newman Lake. At sunset, free campfire programs that change regularly are on tap at the amphitheater. To keep up on all the goings-on, just pick up a copy of the Platte River PATHFINDER, your complete guide to park activities. Check out the arts and crafts center and try your hand at ceramics or leathercraft.
Visitors also can climb to the top of the 85-foot Lincoln Journal Tower. Its large observation deck gives you a view in any direction. The Platte River Valley unfolds before you, creating a breathtaking vista.
Scott Lodge Restaurant
Day visitors are also welcome at Platte River State Park and can enjoy a great meal with a scenic view of the Platte River at the Scott Lodge Restaurant. The Restaurant will host a wonderful Mother's Day Meal and then open for the summer season the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. The hours of the Scott Lodge Restaurant through August 18th are as follows: Monday - Friday: Breakfast - 8:30 AM - 11AM, Lunch 11AM - 2PM (All off the menu) Saturday: Breakfast (Buffet Only) - 8AM - 10:30 AM , Lunch 11 AM - 2PM (off the menu) Sunday: Breakfast (Buffet Only) - 8AM - 10:30 AM, Lunch (Buffet Only) 11AM - 2PM. Weekends Only beginning August 25-September 29.
ActivitiesThere are many activities at Platte River State Park including a swimming pool, horse trail rides, craft center, hiking and biking trails, paddle boats, fishing for children under 16, picnicing, and tennis court. The swimming pool, craft center, paddle boat rental are open Memorial Day Weekend through mid August daily and weekends only mid August through Labor Day Weekend.
Horse trail rides begin on weekends in early May and then daily Memorial Weekend through mid August. Weeekends only mid August through mid October. Please call the park for more information regarding hours of operation.
For veteran golfers wishing a special challenge, Quarry Oaks Championship Golf Course near the park offers a fabulous golfing experience set on the rolling wooded hills overlooking the Platte River. Quarry Oaks has been touted as one of the best new public golf courses in the United States. Contact Quarry Oaks to arrange your tee times up to 30 days in advance.
Platte River is well-equipped to handle a variety of functions for groups ranging in size up to 150 people throughout the year. Lodging facilities are limited during the winter months, since only the Housekeeping Cabins have heat.
Nature-lovers delight in the variety of flora and fauna found at the park and its environs. Typical species include those common to the eastern hardwood forests, the tail-grass prairies, and the Platte River flood plain woodlands. This overlapping makes the park a rare treat for visitors interested in the world of nature.
The Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex features a multipurpose shooting range. The Complex provides a new concept by providing one-on-one instruction and equipment for new and novice shooters. The new facility will accommodate several shooting disciplines, including an archery range with shooting tower, sling shot range, a 50 yard - small bore rifle range, an indoor 10 meter pellet gun range and a shotgun range with trap house and a 5-stand feature. Current shooters are encouraged to bring their own equipment. The complex was designed for families and sports minded people of all ages.
Camper Cabins: There are 31 of these cabins, grouped around central shower-latrine buildings, with four to six units in a pod. Each cabin has a refrigerator, fire grate for outdoor cooking and a picnic table, and linens are provided. With costs held down, the visitor can enjoy the park complex on a small budget.
Camping: Because of the rugged terrain and limited space, there are no campsites or pads at Platte River. However, RVers will find great facilities at 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.
Rent a Tepee: You can rent an actual tepee in the Oto or Pawnee tepee villages. Each tepee accommodates 6 to 8 people. Some concession has been made to modern comfort, though, with wooden floors replacing the packed earth of the traditional dwelling.