I had the please of staying at this beautiful Nebraska state park with my youngest son on a return trip home from North Dakota over the July 4th weekend 2019. We pulled in after office ours and easily found several primitive walk up sites to choose from. We selected T45 for it’s proximity to a scenic Missouri River overlook and it’s flat, shaded ground. Ponca SP is a large clean and hilly state park offering just about everything you could want from Glamping in cabins to roughing it on one of several pack in trails. There is plentiful wildlife to observe. We witnessed deer and many species of birds in our one evening and morning stay. Guests to the park can partake in horse trail rides($), golf($), fishing, hunting, shooting/ archery range, biking/hiking, water activities such as kayaking or canoeing on the Missouri River, and a large pool near the entrance. Food service is also available on site if you get tired of cooking at your camp. If you want a power site for an RV I’d highly recommend reserving well in advance because this is a popular SP. For those of us who tent camp without power you’ll likely find the perfect spot for your small to large tent on a walk up site with plentiful shade trees at all of the sites that I observed. I highly recommend trying to get the site one spot to the North of T45, it literally looks right over the Missouri River and sits just steps away from the scenic overlook. The bathroom facility right by T45 was clean and well maintained and there was a water faucet next to this site as well as the trash bins. Scenic hikes, drives, or bike rides around the park are largely shaded with a rich tree canopy over rolling hills throughout the park. There are at least two scenic river overlooks with historical referenced to the area’s rich history including the Lewis and Clark expedition. Check the park’s web site at outdoornebraska.gov/Ponca/ to find out what educational and fun events might be happening at the park. They hold a Harvest/Halloween event over a few days in October each year, but you’ll have to book a site a year in advance if you want to for sure get a spot during that time. Don’t forget to stop in to the education center and learn all about the river’s history. The education center is top notch and one of our favorite things about the park. This is a five star state park by any measure and I can’t wait for a return trip to this park.
The cabins here are top notch! The park is so beautiful too!
If you want a nice place to camp in NE Nebraska, this is it. Lots of shade, hiking, trail rides, campsites are pretty and easily usable. Enough space for 6 people easily. Showers, campfire rings. Nice place to spend a few days or just an overnight.
This campground has seen huge improvements over the last decade. They now sport an impressive set of cabins and other facilities for the 21st century camper. Tent camping continues to be available and has better privacy than many sites throughout Nebraska. The park isn't far from a small town where you can easily get anything you might need for your trip. Explore some of the activites that staff hold weekly or go take a hike! There's also playgrounds and a pool for the kids.
The facilities at the campground were excellent.
We hiked around multiple trails along the river and in a deciduous forest. We saw unusual flowers, birds and wildlife.
Ponca State Park is a perfect winter getaway, with spacious well equipped newer cabins and beautiful scenery
Miles of trails and great water park
Every time I visit, whether spring, summer or fall, there are activities boundless. Good for biking, hiking, nature watching, fishing, kayaking, archery etc. The scenery is stunning and wonderful views of the bluffs. Clean campgrounds and many to choose from. Wonderful RV camp hosts.
This park was amazing! We spent labor day weekend there 3 years in a row. Huge cabins that were clean and ready to go. Trails were super close so kids could explore while I made dinner and cleaned up. Tons of activities, we went kyaking, kids did crafts, and a couple of us went to a class on dutch ovens. We would definitely go back.
This park has had a lot of upgrades in the past few years— I would say it now appeals to those looking more for “glamping”. The new cabins look much like houses and although I’ve not been in them, appear to even have cable. IMO if you need something that fancy you’re missing the point but to each his own! We found a few “hike in” spots but they were not more than .25 miles from trailheads. The park has a lot to offer and there are some fun trails that lead to good views. if you’re looking for long hikes you’ll be making a lot of circles back and forth across roads.