Chadron State Park is celebrating its centennial and that of Nebraska Game and Parks this year with a $1.6-million dollar package of upgrades and new construction all across its 977 acres.
Superintendent Gregg Galbraith says 2021 “is a special year for us, and I’m thankful for those who have worked to make sure the park is in tip-top shape come summer.”
He says Game and Parks has invested a lot of time and resources into making the park better with visitors sure to appreciate the improvements for years to come.
The biggest project at Chadron State Park is a new indoor archery and pellet gun range near the recently renovated Trading Post activities center and new fire pit that will serve as a gathering place for educational and group activities.
The 3,100-square foot shooting range will include bulls-eye and 3-dimensional archery targets and a 5-station pellet gun range with a carnival-style shooting gallery.
Game and Parks is continuing a multi-year upgrade on Chadron State Park’s 16 rustic cabins, built by the CCC – Civilian Conservation Corps – in the 1930s. Two are now handicapped-accessible.
All but one cabin have new ceilings and all have new cupboards and countertops as well as new tan siding. The work has also removed the screens from the porches, opening them to better facilitate gathering outside.
The park campground has a new concrete showerhouse and 25 campsites were upgraded to 50-amp electrical service. The basic tent camping area has a new prefabricated vault toilet with a similar one added near the Pinecone Shelter.
The Group Event Center, popular for meetings, wedding receptions, and other events, has upgraded handicapped accessibility, new paint and flooring, new storage,and a reconfigured kitchen.
There’s new playground equipment, the park’s electrical capacity has been increased, and a resurfacing of the park’s 5.6-miles of asphalt roads is scheduled to go to bid in Feb.
Superintendent Galbraith is hopeful all the major work will be completed by the park’s anniversary celebration June 11-12, expanded to 2 days this year for the centennial.
A committee has been working for over a year planning the celebration and Galbraith’s convinced it’s going to be great.
He’s also encouraging visitors to come out and experience Chadron State Park in the winter, explaining that the season “provides opportunities to enjoy the park when it’s less crowded.”
Galbraith says “Whether you are sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or just walking the dog and taking in the views, winter is always a great time to visit the park. Come out and see all of the improvements.”