When reviewing this campground it is important that I preface anything with a note about the campground condition. This entire area has been inundated with flooding off and on since March 2019. This review is taking these issues into accord and basing the review on the areas that have been repaired in the park since the flooding.
When entering the park you will notice some areas that still show signs of being impacted by the historic flooding this year. The road was completely wiped out during the flooding, but due to some intense work the road was replaced to the campground.
At the park entrance there is a park office to purchase park permits for either day use or for the season. A yearly in-state park permit is $31 and a daily is $6 per day. You will also notice another building at the entrance that during the active season (April-September) is the concession stand. They have a decent spread of options to purchase like drinks, firewood, bait, etc., but you are better off price wise bringing your own supplies to save money.
Just past the entrance you will see a row of 10 former Union Pacific Cabooses that in lieu of actual cabins can be rented for a nights stay. They have restrooms, a deck, beds, etc. , but you do need to bring your own bedding when staying in a caboose. These can be rented for $75 per night. One unfortunate part of the caboose rentals is there are no pets allowed when renting.
There are multiple lakes within the campground to use for fishing. During peak season these lakes are often overly packed-in with people trying to catch something. Lake number 5 is popular for Trout fishing. During normal years that aren't heavily impacted by flooding you can also do some river fishing on the Platte River. Due to the flooding this year though, access to anything by the river is closed due to the area being a mess and some areas undermined by the water that sat for months.
Two Rivers SRA provides tent and RV camping, but again due to the flooding this year a couple of the more popular areas are closed for significant repairs. One of the busy areas for RV camping and where we stayed was the Lakeside Campground. With it being off-season it wasn't too busy but there were close to a dozen campers there over the weekend. RV camping can be done for $25-$35 per night at Two Rivers SRA. The more expensive "Full Hook-up" is actually only water and power. There are no sewer hook-ups that I have ever seen for our multiple stays. Since it is off-season the dump station is closed for your post camping routine. There is a Love's Travel Stop about 5 miles away where you can dump for $5. While the primary water is shutoff as well this time of year, there are multiple Iowa hydrants that are still available for filling the holding tanks.
Tent campers can use any of the open spots at any of the campgrounds, but if you are using a spot with power it runs $15 per night. The normal primitive campground is closed from the flooding, but when open it runs $10 per night.
Two Rivers SRA also offers Horse Camping for those that want to bring their horses out and do some trail riding. This has been closed all season due to the flooding, but when open there are usually 3-4 groups that bring their horses in for trail riding and camping, so it is pretty popular.
**All off-season camping is $5 off the normal rate with exception of primitive sites.
The campground has multiple vault toilets throughout the campground and a few new full service bathrooms/shower houses, that double as shelters during Tornado season. These fully concrete facilities have been built in the last couple years and are still in really good shape.
The campground areas that are open have been rehabilitated pretty well since the flooding. They are fairly clean and maintained, about the only real issues are the presence of more sand from the flooding and some roads that need attention.
Pheasants Forever also has a wildlife preserve within the campground. The organization maintains the grounds as a habitat and also performs hunts here throughout the year. When it is not being used for hunting, it is a really nice area to go for a hike and see some wildlife.
Unfortunately due to the flooding a lot of the areas along the banks of the Platte River that are usually used for hiking cannot be accessed. There is some danger involved with trying to get to some of these areas due to the conditions post-flood. You can still hike around the rest of the park using the roads, or even take your bikes out for some fun riding.
The area has really been impacted by the historic flooding, but they are really doing everything they can to bring the area back to what it was before the flooding. Take the time to stop out and if you do, offer a hand at helping to clean-up!
Product Review of HeadSpin Light System:
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I am offered the chance to test from time-to-time. On this camp out I was provided with the chance to test the new HeadSpin Light System. If you would like to know more about the HeadSpin Light System check out their website: www.headspinoutdoors.com
When I un-boxed this light kit with my boys we were all immediately taken aback by the options this light provided for use. The light system comes in a well designed case that houses all the components in their own foam lined spaces.
You receive the light unit itself, a handlebar mount, a head mount, a flashlight mount, and a wall charger mount. The kit also comes with a hex wrench for mounting the handlebar mount to a bike, a mini-usb charging cord, directions, and HeadSpin sticker.
The first thing we tested out was the brightness of the light while we were in the campground. We were very impressed with how bright this light is and how well it was able to show us much more of the campground than we expected based on previous headlamps we have used. The headlamp is easily adjusted for size and my boys were constantly changing the fit between each other. Adjusting the light intensity isn't too difficult either once you identify which button is used for each task. The buttons were a little awkward to identify with gloves on during the cold night when we were at the campground. I would suggest making the buttons easier to identify in some manner, possibly raising them a bit.
While I did not have my mountain bike out with us on this trip, I did identify another way to use the handlebar mount. This mounted quite well to the bottom of the grip of my trekking pole. This worked out really well when we were walking around the campground and really added just that much more functionality to the HeadSpin Light System. I do look forward to getting this mounted on my mountain bike as well and trying it out on some of the local trails.
Now for full disclosure, I have always been into different types of flash lights as it always seems as though I have a job where they are required in some way. I was really impressed with the flashlight handle for the HeadSpin Light System. It is too often when you are carrying a flashlight where you notice the grip is either too big or too small. This grip really fit in the Goldilocks arena for me and I expect to use this quite often.
When charging this light system you have the ability to use the wall plug base or the USB cable. I received this light earlier enough and I was able to use the wall plug. The light had no power when I received it and was fully charged in an hour after being plugged into the wall. In my book that is impressive, and I used it all weekend and it is still going on that charge.
I really appreciate the versatility of this light system overall and recommend it to anyone looking for a good interchangeable light setup. This works for campers, cyclists, DIY addicts, etc. This is really a great kit and I plan to use this setup for years to come. Again, to find out more about this fantastic light system check it out on their website at: www.headspinoutdoors.com
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!
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.
We stayed with our class A RV on our way to and from a further destination in early July. First spot was one right along the river. All the spots are spacious…neighbors are not on top of you. This spot had a nice concrete slab with a picnic table (not so nice with peeling paint). Views of the river and city were nice. Full hook-ups with sewer, water, electric and (spotty) WiFi. Second spot was not on the river but equally spacious. No concrete patio with this one. Bathhouse’s were a mixed bag. One was large with numerous stalls and showers and very clean. The other quite small (2 stalls and one shower) and not so clean. Had to step around empty shampoo and conditioner bottles on the floor and a used razor on the soap dish…there in the early evening and still around 9 the next morning. Many sites seemed to be extended stay and not all were well kept…plastic covering windows, haphazard decks, etc. All-in-all though an OK one night stopover spot if you’re traveling through.
Scenic park is across the Missouri river from Sioux City, Iowa. It is easy to get to. Very friendly staff. Restrooms are kept clean. It is a large campground with several different restrooms with showers. There is a number of permanent campsites, there is also some that can be reserved. Some are also pull thru's. Ice and firewood are available on site. There is a separate area available for tents. With it being on the edge of South Sioux City, Ne and across the river from Sioux City, Ia. there is lots of shopping options close by. It can also be reserved for groups, with a shelter available for use. There are some sunny spots and also spots with lots of shade. I really like this campground!
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.
We stayed with our class A RV on our way to and from a further destination. First spot was one right along the river. All the spots are spacious…neighbors are not on top of you. This spot had a nice concrete pad with a picnic table (not so nice with peeling paint). Views of the river and city were nice. Full hook-ups with sewer, water, electric, cable, and wi-if. Second spot was not on the river but equally spacious. No concrete pad with this one. Bathhouses were a mixed bag. One was large with numerous stalls and showers and very clean. The other quite small (2 stalls and one shower) and not so clean. Had to step around empty shampoo and conditioner bottles on floor and a used razor on the soap dish…..there in the early evening and still there around 9 the next morning. Many of the sites seemed to be extended stay and not all trailers were well kept…..plastic covering windows, haphazard decks, etc. All-in-all though an Ok stopover in a longer trip.
This is one of our favorite places to camp. It's beautiful and there's plenty of hiking. The campgrounds are a little way away from the road and more secluded so they're very quiet. You do have to pack your stuff down a bit of a steep hill. with the nature Center there is plenty for the kids to do. There's even a 1 mile hike on a boardwalk that's very easy. There's all levels of hikes. They have a hawkwatch tower. Lots of information about Hawks and nature conservation. We love doing their extra classes.
There’s only one good campsite at this campground. It’s more secluded and away from the rest. The others are pretty close to each other, I would recommend getting two campsites if you don’t want neighbors. The roads are paved, great for long boarding. There’s a swimming pond at this campground as well.
If you’re going to camp at two rivers, this is the camp ground to go to! I highly recommend making a reservation as it fills up quickly. It’s right a long the Platte River were you can swim. You could also kayak in. Two rivers is very strict about quiet hours though.
Hitchcock Nature Center features 10 miles of trails in varying difficulties for all skill levels. Great training site with some fantastic campsites and excellent views. Nature Center offers a unique lodge and educational space with a "fire tower" regularly used for bird studies. Backcountry campsites are the main attraction but there are also RV sites and an archery range. The park even offers a small section of ADA boardwalk. It's a great place!
If you're looking for a relaxing backcountry retreat for a little backpacking adventure then this is a great weekend option. Beginner to intermediate level trails that are good for the whole family. 340 acres with nearly 8 miles of trails to explore. Water options available. 8 backcountry campsites each with fire ring and picnic table. 1 shelter and privy available near main parking lot. Easy access to even more miles of trails in the remainder of the Loess Hills State Forest adjacent to the park.
We went out to Czechland with my sons scout troop and had a nice time camping and fishing. The lake is gorge and the boys were catching a lot of crappie, as well as some large mouth bass and bluegill. They have some really flat tent areas, as well as some basic spots for RV’s. Very quiet area with some great views of the lake. The weather was a bit up in the air for some of the weekend and they do not have any storm shelters, so that is about the only thing does require an upgrade. Overall though it is a great place.