Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari ~ Near Mahoney State Park, the park features a 4-mile driving route through a variety of North American wildlife. The Safari is open April through October. (402) 944-9453 or (402) 733-8401 www.wildlifesafaripark.com
Wildlife Management Areas and Wildlife Protection Area ~ The Grafton area is home to seven Wildlife Management Areas and Wildlife
Mallard Haven Waterfowl Production Area ~ Two miles north of Shickley, Mallard Haven Waterfowl Production Area covers 1,087 acres, including 633 acres of wetland and 454 acres of upland ground. Among the 5-7 million birds migrating each spring are Canadian snow geese, blue geese, ducks, and seasonal bald eagles. Also a habitat for pheasants and quail.
Homestead National Monument of America ~ Explore this National Park. Interactive exhibits, tallgrass prairie, pioneer school, cabin, and special events chronicle immigration, migration, and American Indian cultures of an America forever altered by the Homestead Act. For more information, call (402) 223-3514 or visit www.nps.gov/home. Or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HomesteadNM
Alexandria Wildlife Management Area ~ located two miles east of Alexandria, near the Alexandria State Recreation area. The WMA consists of 1,204.5 acres, including 277 acres of cropland, 150 acres of timber, and 744.5 acres of pasture. Hunting is allowed on the land. 402-729-5777
Fairbury’s Little Blue River Trail ~ Located at the old dam site on C & 3rd Streets. Walkers can proceed to the Fairbury City Park or strike out across the old Rock Island Railroad Bridge and through the Flathead Wildlife Management Area, operated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. 402-729-2148
Crystal Springs Campground ~ Located 1 mile SW of Fairbury. Three lakes open year round. Camping, playground, fishing, and birdwatching. 402-729-2148
Flathead Wildlife Management Area ~ Located on the south edge of Fairbury, ½ mile south of the Fairbury City Park. Located on 259 acres of land, the area offers hiking, hunting, and fishing opportunities.
Rock Glen Wildlife Management Area ~ Located on 706 acres just south of Rock Creek State Historical Park, seven miles SE of Fairbury. Hiking, hunting, and fishing are allowed on 270 acres of timberland and 420 acres of grassland.
Rock Creek Wildlife Management Area ~ Two miles south on Hwy 15, 3 miles west on Hwy 8 & 1 ½ south on 566 Ave. The first parcel includes 302 acres of land for hunting and 146 acres of grassland. Next to Rock Creek Station Historical Park with camping pads and primitive, hiking with Visitors Center open April – October. 402-729-5777
Leisure Lake is located three miles south and ½ mile east of Plymouth. Owned and maintained by the Lower Big Blue Natural Resources District, the lake offers a 38-acre lake with 47 acres of land surrounding it. Hiking, fishing, and hunting are offered at Leisure Lake.
Twin Oaks WMA ~ Two miles east, three south of Tecumseh. Deer, dove, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey. 1,120 acres.
Hickory Ridge WMA ~ 1/2 mile W, 3-1/2 miles S of Vesta. Deer, dove, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey. 444 acres.
Osage WMA ~ Three miles north, 2 west, 3/4 north of Tecumseh. Deer, dove, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey. 778 acres. Target shooting prohibited in certain areas South West Osage and in south parking lot on North Osage.
Indian Cave State Park ~ This beautiful park offers plenty of opportunities to view birds and other wildlife. (402) 883-2575 www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov
Steamboat Trace Trail ~ The trail starts in Otoe County near Nebraska City and follows the Missouri River along the bluffs. It goes past the ghost town of Minersville. The carved drawings in the rocks, known as Sherman’s drawings, are a feature found nowhere else. The trail ends in historic Brownville after traveling along about 21 miles of unmatched scenery. The flora, fauna, birds, and wildlife are abundant throughout the trip. The trailhead at Peru offers a place for a fresh drink, bathroom, and camping. QR coding in place 2013. Camping at trailhead on Peru website gives current condition of trail.
The Furnas Arboretum ~ The Furnas Arboretum, an affiliate site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, provides educational activities, eco-tourism, birding, symposiums, garden tours and memorial plantings and dedication opportunities. The Furnas Arboretum entrance is located on Main at 5th Street. For hours, please call (402) 825-6637.
The Campus of a Thousand Oaks Arboretum ~ A member of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the campus is nestled in the hills of historic southeast Nebraska on the Missouri River. http://www.peru.edu/media/news/09/10/29_430.htm
Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Center ~ The Center features miles of nature trails, natural grasses, river overlooks, and birding interpretations. Join them for brown bags and birds, a special lunchtime treat on Fridays.
Arbor Day Farm offers guided birding adventures.
Mayberry WMA ~ This 195-acre WMA is populated by doves, quail, pheasants, squirrels, and rabbits. A small reservoir is located on the site, which is five miles north and 1/2 mile east of Burchard.
Pawnee Prairie WMA ~ This wildlife management area is one of only a few sites in Nebraska that has unbroken sod. View prairie chickens, pheasants, doves, quail, deer, rabbits, and squirrels amidst beautiful, natural scenery. Eight miles south and one mile east of Burchard on Highway 99.
Prairie Chickens ~ Use the blinds at Burchard Lake to watch the prairie chickens as they’re booming during early spring (February – April). The lake is located eight miles west and four miles north of Pawnee City.
Iron Horse Trail WMA ~ A former railroad right-of-way, this wildlife management area is 1/4 mile north of DuBois. Doves, quail, pheasants, and squirrels abound in the 210-acre site.
Prairie Knoll WMA ~ Located two miles north and one mile west of DuBois, this site is ideal for birdwatching.
Bowwood WMA ~ Pheasant, quail, doves, deer, squirrels, and rabbits can be viewed in this 320-acre WMA two miles south of Steinauer.
Table Rock WMA ~ Located along the Nemaha River, one mile east and 1/4 mile north of Table Rock, this wildlife management area offers opportunities to view pheasants, dovers, rabbits, deer, and squirrels.
Boy Scout Camp ~ Located 12 miles south of Humboldt, the camp contains 360 acres of rolling hills with large oak trees and an abundance of wildlife. When the Scout Camp is not occupied by scouts, the facility is open to public camping.www.Cornhuskercouncil.com
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Fontenelle Forest ~ 1111 N. Bellevue Blvd. 1,400 acres of woods, wetlands, and waterways along 19 miles of trails, including two all-access boardwalks. Overlooking the Missouri River, the view provides spectacular scenery and an educational view of wildlife and natural habitats. The Nature Center offers exhibits and live animal displays. (402) 731-3140, www.fontenelleforest.org
Gretna Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium/Schramm State Recreation Area ~ 21004 West Highway 31, Exit 432. A 330-acre state recreation area sits along the Platte River with 3 miles of hiking paths. On the site of the state’s first fish hatchery, the aquarium offers 12 viewing tanks and a glimpse into underwater wildlife. Picnicking and exploring outside. (402) 332-3901
Wehrspann Lake/Chalco Hills ~ Highway 50 & I-80, Exit 440. A great spot for anglers, the are provides picnic sites and more than 7 miles of trails, perfect for biking, hiking, jogging, and bird watching. The visitor center overlooks the lake. (402) 444-6222www.papionrd.org
Walnut Creek ~ NE Hwy 370 and 96th Street. The recreation is open year round from 6:00am to 10:00pm. The area features three miles of hiking and biking trails, boat dock and ramps, picnic and playground areas, fishing pier, lake island for fishing, wildlife management area, and a 3.5 mile equestrian trail. RV and tent camping from March 1 – December 1. (402) 592-8877 www.nebraskabirdingtrails.com
The Little Blue River flows through Thayer County. Follow the river and find deer, wild turkeys, eagles, and many other birds. Various small creeks are in the area with wildlife located there also.
Alexandria State Recreation Area ~ Three miles east and one mile south of town, Alexandria State Recreation Area offers good fishing year round in its two recently reconstructed lakes, which total 47 acres of water (electric trolling motors only). The 1,212-acre area is shaded by mature trees and offers hiking, wildlife viewing, picnic shelters and camping. Twenty-five sites have 30-amp electrical hookups, and modern restrooms and concessions are onsite. (402) 729-5777
Centennial Park Arboretum/The Friendship Garden ~ The east entrance to Deshler greets you with Centennial Park Arboretum, complete with a gazebo and 15 species of memorial trees and 32 varieties of shrubs and native grasses. As you travel down the main street, you see another park called the Friendship Garden. We invite you to sit on the benches, watch for the many birds in the creek area and have your picture taken with our dragon sculpture. Bluebird houses are located at the east Deshler entrance to Centennial Park.
Little Blue River ~ Stretching across the southern edge of Hebron, Little Blue offers fishing, canoeing, hiking, and hunting. Look for the eagles that fly over the downtown businesses in the summer. The Little Blue Wildlife Management Area is 2 miles east of Hebron on the River Road, another great place for hunting, fishing and sightseeing. Look for the wild turkeys while traveling the River Road.