Guests at North-Central Nebraska State Parks Will Enjoy Many Improvements


Plenty of improvements in Nebraska’s north-central state parks await visitors this year. Projects completed in 2023 or to be finished in 2024 will appeal to an array of park users. The following is a roundup of those improvements and projects:

Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area

The demand for modern camping facilities in central Nebraska is high. At Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area, West Ridge Campground has been expanded in a $1.1 million project. The campground now has 61 campsites with Electric Plus (30/50 amp) service. A shower house roof also was replaced.

Smith Falls State Park

Visitors again are enjoying the sight of Smith Falls, Nebraska’s tallest waterfall. The waterfall at Smith Falls State Park, and the newly constructed 500-foot boardwalk to it, reopened in 2023, replacing the wooden boardwalk.

The $2.7 million project includes a boardwalk built of composite decking on a steel frame with aluminum handrails and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New benches provide places for visitors to rest and a platform over the stream has been added midway up the walkway.

Calamus State Recreation Area

A new activity is available for visitors of popular Calamus State Recreation Area as an archery range has been built at a cost of just more than $6,000.

Long Pine State Recreation Area

Two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant vault toilets are expected to be replaced this year at Long Pine State Recreation Area.

Keller Park State Recreation Area

Campers at Keller Park State Recreation Area will find RV campsites that received an electrical upgrade at a cost of more than $300,000. Two ADA-compliant vault toilets are expected to be replaced this year.

Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area

Good news for campers at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area, the West Beeds campground will expand by 14 Electric Plus sites and a new shower house in a $900,000 project to be completed this year.

Victoria Springs State Recreation Area

A roof was replaced at Victoria Springs State Recreation Area for more than $5,000.

These state park system projects largely have been funded by Capital Maintenance Funds, which were established by the Nebraska Legislature in 2016 to help preserve Nebraska’s public outdoor recreation facilities and parklands; state and federal funding sources; and Nebraska Game and Parks’ funds generated from user fees of the state park system.