Plan a Nebraska state park getaway

January 31, 2019

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on the last Tuesday of January, is a great opportunity to plan a getaway at a Nebraska state park.

Hosted by the U.S. Travel Association, National Plan for Vacation Day encourages Americans to look ahead and make vacation plans at the start of the year. Whether you’re looking for some old-fashioned adventure or simply a beautiful place you can enjoy with family, Nebraska’s state park areas offer something for you.

Spread over 76 locations, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission properties combine unspoiled beauty with a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities and lodging options. In southeast Nebraska, visitors can enjoy brand-new park features including a treetop adventure course, glamping cabins and a floating playground, which were constructed as part of the Venture Parks initiative.

Those interested in hiking, biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling can find hundreds of miles of trails at a Nebraska state park or recreation area. Kayakers and tubers also enjoy a network of river trails with gently flowing waters.

For history buffs, families and anyone interested in Nebraska history, Nebraska’s state historical parks offer hours of fascination and learning.

Start planning your state park getaway at OutdoorNebraska.org. A park permit is required for each vehicle entering a park.

Mountain Lion season closed

The mountain lion harvest season in the South Subunit of the Pine Ridge is closed effective immediately, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The harvest limit of four mountain lions (one female and three males) has been reached. The close of the season has been posted on Game and Parks’ mountain lion harvest season webpage and the 1-800 number that hunters are required to check before hunting mountain lions each day.

The harvest season in the North Subunit of the Pine Ridge remains open to people with permits for that area. No mountain lions have been harvested in that unit. The season in the North Subunit will close when four total mountain lions, or two females, are harvested, whichever occurs first.

Construction to begin on Memphis Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA)

Memphis Lake State Recreation Area (SRA) and WMA is located just northwest of Memphis in Saunders County. Heavy equipment will be operating on site, so the public is urged to avoid the area around and north of County Road D, which separates the SRA from the WMA.

The SRA will remain open for day use and ice-fishing on the lake. Portions of the WMA may be closed to public access at times to ensure the safety of anyone in the area. Construction began Jan. 29.

The project will include installation of a water-control structure, which will allow the wetland to be drawn down for vegetation management, tree removal, filling in level ditches where water has concentrated and trees and bushes have grown, and grading the wetland bottom to increase the variety of water depths. Eventually, an accessible hunting blind will be built on a jetty extending off the west berm.

The wetland restoration project, a joint effort of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Environmental Trust and Ducks Unlimited, is expected to improve wildlife habitat, increase wetland management capabilities, and improve hunter access. The project should benefit many species that use the wetland, including waterfowl and shorebirds.

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