Due to the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for more information.

SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Fort Robinson State Park

By Katie Griffing

SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Fort Robinson State Park

With preserved relics and historic trails that pioneers once traveled, Fort Robinson State Park is the ultimate escape in Nebraska. This park boasts plentiful hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, camping opportunities, and surrounding attractions that call for a several days of exploration. Here are the best things to do in and around Fort Robinson State Park.  

1. Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, NE

Western Nebraska is dotted with historic sites nestled in some of the Midwest’s most beautiful state parks. From 1873 until after World War II, Fort Robinson served as a military camp and many of its original buildings are still in use at the Fort Robinson State Park today. The area has a long history and currently offers a wide range of activities and places to stay and explore the rich history of the land. 

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2. Hike the Soldier Creek Loop

All of the trails at Fort Robinson State Park are open to hikers, and most are open to mountain bikers and equestrians. The trails wind through forests, meadows, streams, and rugged hills and there’s no shortage of plants and wildlife to enjoy along the way. Head to the Soldier Creek Loop for a quiet hike in the wilderness that crosses approximately 11 miles from the parking area at the North and Middle Fork trailheads and connects to the Trooper Trail. 

3. Take a scenic drive through Smiley Canyon

The Smiley Canyon scenic drive will take you from the Fort Robinson Camping Area through a beautiful canyon where you’ll see bison and pronghorn roaming freely. This majestic drive does not see a lot of traffic, so you’ll have some of the best views in all of the park to yourself.

4. Stay the night at the Fort Robinson campgrounds

Fort Robinson State Park offers plenty of shady camping spaces with electrical hookups, picnic tables, modern restrooms and showers, and shelters. The park is also very accommodating to horses, offering horse barns to put your horse up for the night. With many trails to hike and to ride, Fort Robinson campgrounds are the perfect place to camp and enjoy the great outdoors.

5. Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron, NE

Find out just how tough life was for early settlers at the Museum of the Fur Trade in nearby Chadron. The museum stands on the site of an old trading post established for the American Fur Company in 1837. It houses an outstanding collection of trade goods, cutlery, textiles, costumes, and much more.

6. Post Playhouse, Crawford, NE

After a long day outdoors, unwind with a visit to the Post Playhouse, Northwestern Nebraska’s best live theatre company located in Crawford. With several productions rotating at a time, this small but delightful theater brings together some of the best professionals from across the country and nearby.

7. Take a tour of the park

For an exciting ride through the buttes of Fort Robinson, you can book a ride on an open-air Jeep and learn about the history and geology of the area while the wind flows through your hair. For a more relaxed option, book a spot on the horse-drawn tour of the park and surrounding buttes.

Due to the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for more information.

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