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Ponca SP Nature Activities


category : Nature Centers
Ponca State Park has an on-site naturalist to help guide and educate visitors on the history, biology, ecology, astronomy and geology of the area. Daily and nightly events will be planned for adults and children. Activities include star-gazing, owling, Lewis and Clark studies, rocks and fossils, nature hikes, bugs and butterflies, and flora and fauna identifications.

The dense woodlands offer a haven for many types of woodland wildlife. During the day, white-tailed deer and wild turkeys often are seen throughout the area. Toward evening, the howls of coyotes and "who-who-are-you" of the barred owl echo through the hills. Red foxes, gray foxes (an uncommon relative of the red fox), bobcats, raccoons, opossums and other small mammals also occasionally are seen by visitors.

Bur oaks are the predominant tree species at the park, but they are liberally interspersed with walnut, elm, basswood, Kentucky coffeetree and hackberry. Almost at the heart of the park is the "Old Oak Tree." In 1964, this ancient specimen was officially aged at 320 years old. It was a sapling 24 years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.

On summer nights, the repetitious call of the whippoorwill and a chorus of tree frogs and crickets echo through the bluffs and canyons. Turkey vultures can be seen soaring overhead during warm summer days. In late June, snow-like showers of cotton from nearby cottonwood trees signify it is time to catch catfish in the nearby river.

In fall, the skies are filled with migrating ducks, geese and other birds. In winter, the park is home to bald eagles, often seen roosting, soaring and now nesting along the river. Winter is also a great time to view a variety of hardy songbirds at the park's bird feeders.


Admission: Park Permit Required
Address: Nebraska Highway 12 on S-26E
Phone: 402-755-2284
Our Email: poncasp@ngpc.state.ne.us

Come visit us in , Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Ponca SP Camping

Ponca has excellent camping, with 72 paved pads complete with 30-amp and some 50-amp (additional charge)

, NE Camping


Ponca SP Group Activities

Hayrack rides are available by reservation (groups of 15-25) in spring and summer. In the fall, hayrack rides run on weekends. Haunted hayrack rides are scheduled for two weekends in October.

, NE Group Activities

Ponca SP Camping

The park has 14

, NE Cabins

Ponca SP Cross Country Skiing

More and more snow lovers are discovering the wintertime fun found at the park. Cross-country skiing and snow shoeing are becoming a popular way to enjoy many of the park'

, NE Winter Sports

Things to do Nature Centers near , NE

Ponca SP Nature Activities

Ponca State Park has an on-site naturalist to help guide and educate visitors on the history, biology, ecology, astronomy and...