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Chadron State Park, NE

Chadron State Park, Nebraska

Nebraska's oldest state park, established in 1921, might well be the best kept secret of the state park system. With the majestic beauty of the Pine Ridge as its backdrop, Chadron State Park covers 974 acres of natural beauty sure to awe any visitor. Located off U.S. Highway 385 about nine miles south of the town of Chadron, the park is surrounded by the Pine Ridge Division of the Nebraska National Forest. Dominating the scene are towering ponderosa pines that have adapted well to the Pine Ridge soils and generally dry climate. The altitude approaches 5,000 feet in places, which means visitors "can keep their cool" even on warm summer days.

Chadron State Park offers many of the amenities found at other state parks, but pains are taken to retain the pristine integrity of the area. Modern housekeeping cabins are nestled on the hillsides, blending into the natural landscape. A new, modern RV campground was built in 1991.

Activities are diverse, too, ranging from swimming in the regulation-sized pool to trout fishing to pedaling around the park lagoon in a paddleboat. Horseback trail rides and Jeep rides provide more spectacular views of the area. Various crafts are on tap at the Chartran Trading Post, along with snacks and souvenirs. Visitors can savor the history of the region with demonstrations of old-time fur trader activities and black powder presentations. You can even try your hand at archery, play tennis, or sand volley ball. Groups of 20 or more can also arrange for a buffalo stew cookout. Most activities are available Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

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Chadron State Park Trails

Chadron State Park Hiking
Chadron State Park HikingMiles of hiking/nature trails meander through Chadron State Park, connecting with more miles of trails that lace forest lands. There are short segments for a brief stroll, or rugged distances and climbs for the dedicated wilderness buff. All offer a chance to absorb the splendor of the area. Park-goers can also walk or drive to the scenic observation point on National Forest land by taking the spur off the main park road in the southwest corner of the park. Horseback trail rides and Jeep rides provide more spectacular views of the area. For those who truly want to escape the hectic pace of everyday life, Chadron State Park is the ideal locale. Here, one can literately retreat to the leisure of a bygone age.

Chadron State Park Equestrian

Chadron State Park Horse Trails
Chadron State Park Horse TrailsHorseback trail rides and Jeep rides provide spectacular views of the area. There are no free range horse trails located on the park property except for what is used by the park's one mile trail rides. However, the Pine Ridge Ranger District, south of Chadron offers many miles of trails. The Robert's Trailhead provides several amenities.

Chadron State Park Cabins

Chadron State Park Cabins
Chadron State Park CabinsChadron State Park has lodging accommodations to fit your needs, with 22 housekeeping cabins; 16 have two double beds, while 6 have two twin beds in one room, and one queen bed in the other. Each cabin is furnished with bed linens, blankets, and towels. Kitchenettes have stoves, refrigerators, cooking utensils, and towels. Cribs or rollaways are available for a small additional fee, while extra linens are available for the asking. For those who want to stay with a group or schedule a full-blown family reunion, the park offers a multi-use facility perfect for group camp.

Lodging reservations are accepted up to one year in advance and are taken by mail, telephone, or in person during regular park office hours. An advance must be paid within 10 days of reservation confirmation. Deposits can not be refunded for cancellations or failure to appear. Cabins may be rented on a first-come, first-serve basis, if available.

Chadron State Park Camping

Chadron State Park Campgrounds
Chadron State Park CampgroundsCampers, too, will enjoy their stay at Chadron State Park at the new, modern campground, complete with 30 amp electrical hookups, showers, laundry, picnic tables, grills, a playground for the kids and a dump station. Primitive camping is also available for tenters. All off-season camping is primitive. Rate vary depending on facilities. No camping is permitted in the cabin area, only in the designated campground.

Park Area Events

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