In its 23 years as a military post, Fort Kearny came to symbolize westward expansion and development. It was the first fort built to protect travelers on the Oregon Trail. It was the headquarters of military and civil government, an important stage station, a home station of the Pony Express, and outfitting depot for numerous Indian campaigns, and the home of the famed Pawnee Scouts under the leadership of Frank and Luther North.
In 1871, Fort Kearny was discontinued as a military post. After abandonment the buildings were torn down and the fort reservations opened for homesteading. The earthworks of the fortifications and the large cottonwoods around the parade grounds were all that remained. In 1929 the State of Nebraska accepted title to the land and designated it a state park in 1960.
Archeological exploration to located building sites and other features on the area was carried out by the Nebraska State Historical Society on a contract from the Game and Parks Commission. The park has been developed to give the visitor an insight into the conditions and events contemporary with the settlement of the American West. You are invited to visit the exhibits in the interpretive center and in the blacksmith-carpenter shop and to follow the walkways to the stockade and around the parade ground where additional information is provided.
Camping is available at nearby Fort Kearny State Recreation Area. Campers will find south-central Nebraska's Fort Kearny State Recreation Area much to their liking. The attractive 152-acre area is located 3/4 mile east and 1 mile north of Fort Kearny State Historical Park.
Hours: Daily, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend
Address: 2 miles south of Kearney on Highway 44 and 4 miles east on Link 50A
Our Email: Fort.Kearny@ngpc.ne.gov
Come visit us in Kearney, Nebraska