Nebraska Game and Parks NDN

Camping will be allowed again on a first-come, first-served basis starting Friday, May 22, at Smith Falls State Park, 35 state recreation areas and wildlife management areas, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has announced.

That includes all camping units, including tents. Shower houses, designated swimming beaches, playgrounds and park activities will remain closed, and a limited number of primitive restrooms will be available.

Park regulations allow for up to eight people per campsite.

But camping will be restricted at popular locations such as Mahoney State Park and Lake McConaughy and much of Northeast and North Central Nebraska — including Lewis & Clark State Recreation Area north of Crofton, Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area in Cherry County, Niobrara State Park, Ponca State Park and Willow Creek State Recreation Area near Pierce. No tents will be allowed at this time, but expanded camping may be allowed in the near future.

Mormon Island State Recreation Area near Grand Island and Danish Alps SRA near Hubbard will not offer camping, as they are near communities with high COVID-19 incidence.

Game and Parks also will open camping on wildlife management areas where it was allowed previous to the COVID-19 health emergency to help distribute camping activity.

The prevailing health recommendations for social distancing and group sizes less than 10 people to meet the state directed health measures still apply.

The 35 state recreation areas that will be open include Alexandria, Bluestem, Box Butte, Bridgeport, Buffalo Bill, Cheyenne, Conestoga, Cottonwood Lake, Dead Timber, Enders, Gallagher Canyon, Keller Park, Lake Maloney, Long Pine, Memphis, North Loup, Olive Creek, Pelican Point, Red Willow, Riverview Marina, Rock Creek Lake, Rockford, Sandy Channel, Sherman, Stagecoach, Summit, Sutherland, Swanson, Union Pacific, Verdon, Wagon Train, Walgren Lake, War Axe and Wildcat Hills.

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