Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in Nebraska is on the Platte River off Interstate 80 about halfway between Omaha and Lincoln. I will preface the review stating that the review is receiving four stars primarily because of the amenities at the park. The campgrounds themselves are fairly basic. There are areas to tent and park your RV within the state park. The RV campground has about a dozen full hookup sites and the rest of the campsites have electric hookups. There is not much room between the sites, so you do feel that you are stacked on top of the other campers. There is a wait list for the campgrounds much of the year. We were able to score a walk-up thankfully. The site does have water fill stations and a dump station. Their shower house is also decent enough.
But, as I said you are not coming here to hangout in the campground. There is something for everyone at this state park. They have hiking on paved and un-paved trails, which we utilized both. There is an activities center for kids to make different arts and crafts. They have horseback riding, a theater, paddle boating, parks, minature golf, etc. During the summer you can have fun at the big water park they have on site. They also have cabins and lodge rooms available for rent. The cabins book quickly, and can get pricey at around upwards of $400 a night during their peak season for one of the newer cabins. The lodge houses a decent restaurant with some great views of the Platte River.
At the main activities area they have a massive indoor play area for kids. This building also houses their new and extremely fun 40ft. climbing walls. Outside this building during the winter they have a covered ice rink and they also produce their own snow for the sledding hill. All-in-all it is a nice place with plenty to do onsite.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I occasionally get to test products. While out at the state park we got the opportunity to test out Banner & Oak hats. https://bannerandoak.com/
My boys and really appreciate good hats. We found the Banner & Oak brand hats to be really exception hats.
The hats my sons wore were the Banner & Oak Eagle and the Banner & Oak Sierra. These two hats were made in the United States. I wore the Banner & Oak Switchback which was not produced in the United States.
All three hats are really quality hats. The stitching is tight around the sweatbands and the bill, which is usually a sign the hat will last a long time.
The mesh used for the back of the hat appears to be an older heavier duty mesh. This mesh reminds me of the mesh found in older hats, or the hats of my youth. I still have a couple of these hats, so this is another good sign of lasting quality.
The overall designs of all three hats are really just cool. They look cool and they feel cool, and I am really surprised by how much I like the flat billed hat, since I usually cannot stand them. The boys and I are really impressed with the construction and feel of the Banner & Oak hats!
Hitchcock Nature Center is north of Crescent, IA and just let outside Omaha, NE. A short drive from the city and you are in the Loess Hills that were explored by Lewis and Clark on their trek west. The is a $3 day use pass or a $20 yearly pass available.
This place has a lot to offer anyone. They have Nature education events, archery range, a handicapped accessible boardwalk trail, hiking trails, camping, etc. There are miles of trail available with backcountry camping available for $10 per night. RV camping is also available for $15 per night with electric, showers/bathrooms, picnic tables, fire rings, etc. They also offer a couple cabins for rent.
The hiking is fantastic and offers something for every skill level. There are absolutely gorgeous views of the Missouri River valley below. All trails are marked and the a multiple different trailheads, many which start around the visitors center/tower Overlook. During the winter they even over snowshoeing events. It is really a nice place to get outdoors anytime of the year.
Lake Wanahoo is a fairly new lake in Saunders county Nebraska. The lake is part of the local NRD and was originally managed by the state parks department. You used to be able to use your state park permit to gain entry, but now you need to either buy a day pass or a yearly pass from the NRD.
There are plenty of places to camp here including gravel pads and grass pads for RV’s. While most people seem to prefer the gravel pads closer to the lake, we actually prefer grass pads because they are 2-3 larger, so you have more room to setup.
The tent camping area is huge and there always seems to be plenty of availability. We were the only tent in the entire area. The tiered tent area allows you to have a great view of the lake from wherever you setup. All RV and tent spots have picnic tables and fire rings. Unfortunately when the lake and campground were built they planted saplings, so during the hot months there is no shade to be found.
The is still plenty to do at the lake from getting the fishing boat out, using their three wide boat ramp or fishing from the shore using bank or using a jetty. There is a gravel trail that goes all the way around the lake, which provides about a three mile loop. The trail also leads down into the town of Wahoo. There are two large play areas for kids. One is in the campground and one is across the lake in the day use area.
No matter where you go you are not far from a restroom. There are nice clean vault toilets available all around the lake. There is also a large bathroom/shower house in the campground. The shower house does have a change machine on the outside of the build to get change for the showers. These are kept very clean and tidy.
When pulling your RV out here the water fill is in an awkward spot in a parking lot of the campground. To get to the dump station you have to leave the campground, get on the highway and drive to the opposite side of the lake to the day use area. These were just installed a couple years ago. They are nice and level, but just add a bit of driving to get to them.
All-in-all this is a nice place and in a few more years of tree growth, it could be even better!
Tent camping sites. No electrical hookups but you can still camp in campers if you want. Beautiful Campground with lots of trees and shade. Very nice Lake with fishing available. There appears to be an option for canoe rentals available. Boat ramp and dock. Multiple bathroom locations within the campground. Picnic tables near the water. I’ve kayaked the lake! So much fun.
This is a County run Park, that has a limited number of sites. The location is very nice, most sites are full sun. And the grounds are located on top,of a hill. Easy drive in, all paved. A lot of hiking trails, for day hikes. Really nice location but site availability is always the question. Would recommend.
Nice park, with electrical and water at most every site, however the campground is flooded by the Missouri River for the 2019 season. Check back soon
Stopped here for one night on a long trip. I was disappointed at first that the swim area was closed already in Mid-August but then I saw it and changed my mind. The areas around the campsites and for swimming were large ponds. I wouldn’t have let my kiddo in there if it was open. The pit toilets were absolutely disgusting, but I guess that is to be expected. Road noise was pretty intense at night. Overall I wouldn’t stop here again.
Convenient location right off the highway, but with that you do get the noise. Has a playground and pool as will as a convenience store. Bathrooms and showers were clean. Not much to do outside of the campgrounds, but we were just passing through so was an ideal spot for us. Offers military discount.
A nice little city park in the Loess Hills of Iowa, it's not a destination but makes for a good overnight stop. The campground is primarily RV camping with about 20 sites with full hook ups. The tent camping is a bit vague, as all of the numbered sites had hook ups. I ended up pitching my tent in the grass as I didn't want to take the last site with hook ups when I didn't need them. There really aren't any trees for hammocks. The bathroom is secure with a coded door, and it is very clean inside although also very hot. The info on the bath house said to drop your pay envelope in the slot next door to city hall in town, which necessitates a drive back into the cute town. There is a nice walking path around the pond and some pretty neat historical buildings to explore as well.
An important note: Due to the massive and devastating flooding in the Spring (2019), most of the sites were occupied by flood victims, not just in this campground, but all along highway 29/the Loess Hills. Many campgrounds have modified their fees or closed to regular campers to provide space to families who lost their homes and farms to the Missouri River flooding.
Beautiful little spot by a small lake. Excellent pricing- $15 for the night with electric. Several camp sights for RV and tent. Lots of amenities including canoe and paddle boat rentals. Very friendly people, and campers. Even though the site we chose was pretty full, it was very quiet. Other campers were very courteous! We will come back again!
This site is great for any size family. The range of different camping options and amenities is incredible. The facilities are well maintained, the staff is friendly and helpful. Everything is nicely spread out on the grounds, and the location is near the highway to reach other amenities. A definite winner!
Right next to the event center, tent or rv camping is allowed. Depending on what's happening that day, it can be quiet or very busy. All sites are gravel and have electrical hookups. Internet is available throughout the area. Fires must be contained in an enclosed fire pit and pets must be kept on leash at all times. You can use the arena for showering during the day which is incredibly helpful.
We primary stop by this site for fishing as the lake is regularly stocked. It's great for kayaking or small boats. There is very little shade available at this campground as it is a man-made area so bring the sunscreen. Fires are allowed and pets must be on leash. RV sites and tent camping site are available.
I give 5 stars because of purpose. I rate based off of what I’m looking for and if it fits my needs. I try not to compare the likes of city campgrounds to those in the mountains (apples and oranges) I also wasn’t sure what to expect but was very happy with this campground. Had originally planned on tripping to Omaha more than one day but only ended up only going once to hit the Henry Doorley Zoo because we had enough to occupy us at the campground. Very kid friendly with great staff. sites were fairly close together but have been at worse. Pro & Con - right next to the interstate. Since we were site seeing around the area it was convenient instead the more nature excursion camping trip. But the traffic noise is not the most desirable. Would be a great place to stay if you’re going to go to a corn huskers game-short drive to the stadium. We actually went to a minor league ball game; Lincoln Salt Dogs, was a good time and also great time for the kids! If we ever venture that direction again I will gladly stay here again.