Train noise all night
Louisville State Recreation Area is a nice large camping area offering over 200 sites with Electricity. There are also primitive tenting areas as well. The sites are mostly shaded and are spacious with fire rings and picnic tables. There are 2 larger lakes and 3 smaller ones. The park offers a swim beach, playground, fishing, and lots of hiking trails. There are trails that lead right along the banks of the Platte River.
I would recommend reservations as it seems a popular place on the weekends. We stayed next to one of the larger lakes and if you enjoy wildlife, you will see plenty. I could sit and watch the pond wildlife all day long. Only downside to this campground is the abundance of trains passing through. There is a train tracks right across the lake and it can be quite noisy. Otherwise this is a wonderful campground.
Very clean tent sights by the Platte River. Nearby train-tracks were a bit noisy though
Has a brand new water park fairly busy on weekend
I stayed in this Louisville Rec area a few nights, moving around to three different areas of this HUGE campground are nestled in Nebraska. My plan was to spend a few days taking advantage of the many amenities and activity options this area appeared to have, and I since this is a popular destination option many are considering, I sought to provide a review of the grounds from the perspective of someone who is considering staying in the west, central, or east area of the grounds. This review is for the east area.
General Info on this overall campground
This is a state-funded park, so non-Nebraska plated cars have an additional fee. A HUGE campground with around 250 total sites, with options ranging from walk-in camping tent-only sites to RV areas. There is a 3 decent-size lakes spread evenly across the grounds. Near the central lake ("Lake 2") there is a small shop which has a market where basic kick knacks and firewood are available. This is also where you can rent boats like canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards for hrs, half and daily rates. There is a trail in the woods running parallel to the North Platte River. The path is in a heavily wooded area, so no lakeside views, just a nice, quiet hike with the very occasional hummm of a mosquito. There is a swim area along the beach of Lake 2. There is canoe access at the far west side of the park. In summer, it was common to see people wading across the river as it was neither a fast moving current nor deep. This is a Rec area, so day use is also an option. There are numerous locations for picnics, including Grills, and for fishing in the lakes from some roof-covered docks. Coin-operated showers (takes quarters, change machines take $1 and $5 bills) and full-service, ADA-friendly bathrooms scatter the park as well. There is a play area in the center which has a basic jungle gym. Each site has at least a picnic table and a fire pit. All tent sites are park and walk. If you want to have your car next to your picnic table, you need a padded spot. Each area of the park has these options, as well as electrical, then RV. Most sites are reservable and there are some allocated for first come, first serve. Gates will close at 10pm so make sure your road trip stops before they do. Also, packing earplugs is a must, but it won't completely help you. There is a train that goes very near the grounds - the track basically borders the south side of the campgrounds - and it needs to use its horn while passing through, which happens A LOT.
Central location-specific Info
I personally this this area has the best spots on the grounds. I was loving campsite 11. I had a river-side view to a nice sunset and sat at my picnic table and watched fireworks go off on the other side of the river (4th of July long weekend). These sites are also furthest from the train, which isn't really helping all too much because it's loud anyway, but you're also away from all the noise of the main rec area and central market. Less kids in this area for that reason as well.
The NanoDry Shower Towel
I have other travel towels, but nothing this size that is this light, this packable, and this quick drying. It's a total keeper. Well, I actually forgot it at a different campground a few days later, but it's something I am happy to pay to replace. I would wake up, have a shower, lay out the towel on the picnic table, and 10 min later it was dry. Speaking of really cool, let me take a sec to talk about the carry case. It's this silicone thing that comes with a carabiner, so I can hook it outside my bag if it's still wet to keep it away from other stuff but also let it air dry a bit.
- Towel has a loop near the middle to hang in shower stalls or hang dry
- Very absorbent fabric. 2.3x it's own weight in water, to be exact. I didn't think the large size (47 x 24 inches, 142 grams) was going to be enough material to dry me after a soak, but it was.
- NanoDry fabric dries soooo fast.
- Antimicrobial coating so there's no mildew build up
- Silicone case clips to anything and keeps it away from your other items in case it's not quite dry
- I forgot it at a campground a few days later
The FlatPak Toiletry Bottle
I decided to get a few of these guys to solve a few pain points. Usually 'travel size' anything is a little pricier compared to the 'economy size' option, so now I just leave bigger bottles of things like shampoo at home and fill up one of these. Secondly, it's a case that's crazy light so you're pretty much taking whatever liquids, gels, and pastes you use with you with as little added weight possible. It's a travel accessory, so it should be TSA approved, and it is.
- Snap loop makes it easy to attach these to toiletry and day use bags for outdoor adventures, weekend trips, or a gym session.
- The screw top opening is easy to remove and wide enough to make it easy to fill
- There's a place to write a note about the contents of the bag so you don't wind up brushing your teeth with hand lotion.
- It's waterproof, so go ahead and use it in the shower
- Because of it's compact size and weight design, it's going to be near impossible to clean out completely after use, so get enough for each category of your liquids, gels, and pastes. Sure, one sunscreen vs another is totally reasonable when it comes time for a refill, so all I'm saying is get the 3 pack because you'll like these things and you'll want one for your toothpaste, another for sunscreen, one for shampoo, another for conditioner, maybe you use shower gel, and maybe everyone else you camp with is going to need them now too.
- I didn't buy enough
- Only comes in 1 color
We had no trouble getting a spot since we stayed mid week. There's over 200 modern camp sites. The East end shower facility was very clean, as the host camper was cleaning it at 6 am. There is a new shower house that just opened near the shopette ($1 for 5 min), but the change machine was out of quarters. Train tracks near the campground aren't terrible but can be distracting at the beginning of the night.