Best Free Camping in Nebraska

With Nebraska Game and Parks raising prices and forcing high prices on lesser and previously cheaper state camping areas, I wanted to post a couple of forums for Camping for the common lower-middle-class Cornhusker. Feel free to post sites that are just across the boarder (within 15 or 20 miles or so from Nebraska- We can count them too).

Also, you can include sites that ask for a donation or sites that are free if you have an annual pass. (like Nemaha NRD parks).

So I’ll start off with a really nice one for amenities. Buckly Park in Stromsburg has flush toilets, full hookups, and they will let you use the showers at the pool nearby.

Several towns have parks with free camping, but the towns often are not much. Stromsburg is the Swedish capital of Nebraska and it has a lot of quaint shops and on First Fridays during the summer they have live music, wood fired Pizza, grass fed beef sandwiches, and at night they fire fireworks off a building on the square!

See the review on the Dyrt

Not all Free camping is in city parks. Timber Point Lake is a secluded small lake east of Brainard and NW of Loma (a small ghost town with a bar that has a reputation for great steak). The Oak Creek Trail is about a mile or so down the gravel road from the lake and is considered one of the nicest trails in Nebraska.

There are 3 gravel slabs, boat dock, vault toilet, and fresh water (though no hookups). If you are in the Lincoln Nebraska area and want to get away from everything but have little cash to do it, this is a great option.

See the review on the Dyrt

I love watching Drivin and Vibin. they came out with the top 10 free sites they had stayed in during the year, this is their top ten NATION WIDE, and a Nebraska site made the list!!!

Oliver Reservoir way out in the panhandle by Bushnell !
Here is the youtube link to their review.

I’ve never been there. Have You?

It too has a review on the Dyrt

OK, so so far it is just me, but this is only day 2 of my post, so many folks don’t even know it is here. What I hope to get/give from this is a list of the 10 best free camping spots in Nebraska. I am also going to make a forum for best camping for $15/night or less.

Plainview Nebraska

Up north there is much to do and HWY 20 is a scenic way to cross the state. Chilvers City Park in Plainview may be a good staging ground for seeing some of the sites all within an hour or so, or it could just be a good stop for the night for your trip across the top of this great state. 3 nights for free with hookup, power and water I believe. The store downtown has good prices on ice and steak and probably other items you need to stock or re-stock. I think after I reviewed it I was able to get hold of the town and found out that showers at the pool (200 ft from the slabs) are available to campers. but that was a year ago or better. Don’t trust my memory.

The cool thing about camping in this particular city park is that it has a nice fire ring surrounded by swinging benches. Few city parks have a fire ring and it is so nice for giving the camping feel while camping in the middle of town. Very cool.

This park is reviewed on the Dyrt.

This is a fantastic list! I don’t have any free campgrounds to add yet, but I’ll definitely be visiting some of these this summer. Thank you!

Auburn, NE

This one may get me some kickback, but Nemaha NRD has a $10 annual pass. with the pass you can camp at Duck Creek, north of Auburn and west of Peru, on the primitive pads for free. This is a beautiful new lake and recreation area. Vault toilets are nice and clean, camping is level. The lake is strewn with trees sticking out of the water which were left in for fishing habitat, yet the surprise advantage went to kayakers who have made this a paddlers destination.

This park is not far of the Steamboat Trace trail which follows the bluffs and the gets so close to the Missouri you could almost spit in the river. One of the States best bike/walking trails.

By the way, on the northwest corner of Auburn, along Long’s Creek, just beyond the baseball and soccer fields is a city camping area. Tent camping with no hookups is free there also.

Some nice free camping option are the parks created by Loup Public Power Company. I believe they have 4 camps. The ones at North Lake and Lake Babcock are a little run down but decent.
They have several gravel slabs with electric hookup. There are also hydrants in the area. There are burn pits and picnic tables. As I said they are not fancy or nee but decent. A trail runs along these lakes and into town.
And Columbus has a lot going for it: Nice dining, good shopping, and the Andrew Jackson Higgins memorial is worth seeing.
The downside of the area we camped in (Lake Babcock) was that the restrooms were horrible! They did not have doors and were unlit. At night you could call out to ensure you were not going to walk in on someone, but there was no way to prevent anyone from walking in on you. My wife also says the ladies side was filthy.

It is reviewed on the Dyrt.