Opportunities for Recreational Sports at Nebraska State Parks


Zane Hesting makes a throw during the weekly meeting of Chadron State Park’s disc golf league in Dawes County. Several other Nebraska state park areas offer disc golf. (Justin Haag/Nebraskaland Magazine/NGPC)

By Renae Blum

When you think of Nebraska’s state parks, what do you envision? Many might picture outdoor activities like fishing, camping and hiking – and for good reason. But did you know there also are opportunities to play recreational sports such as softball, tennis, sand volleyball, disc golf and more? Read on for details.


Spending an afternoon shooting hoops is a great way to exercise and have fun with some friendly competition. Why not try it in a state park setting? You can find basketball courts at Eugene T. Mahoney and Chadron state parks.

Disc golf

Playing disc golf at a state park allows you to enjoy the beauty and serenity of your surroundings in a unique way. In the west, you can play disc golf at Chadron State Park. In central Nebraska, you can find disc golf courses at Medicine Creek, Lake Maloney and Fort Kearny state recreation areas. And in the eastern portion of the state, you can play at Indian Cave and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks, as well as Pawnee, Branched Oak, Fremont Lakes, Willow Creek and Lewis and Clark state recreation areas.  

Dodgeball and Wiffle ball

Dodgeball isn’t just for gym class; it can be a fun game for adults, as well. Platte River State Park near Louisville has a sports field perfect for a lighthearted game of dodgeball or Wiffle ball.


Have you ever played golf at a Nebraska state park? Perhaps this is your year. You can find golf courses at Fort Robinson, Ponca and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks, and an 18-hole, nationally known golf course is just a few miles away from Niobrara State Park. Bring your friends and your favorite club and give it a try!


Tennis offers a great opportunity to be social while getting exercise and having fun. If you need to release some stress, tennis is your game. Tennis courts can be found at Fort Robinson, Chadron, Platte River and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks.


Have fun building your teamwork and leadership skills during an exciting game of softball. Round up your friends and family and spend some time on the softball fields at Chadron, Platte River and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks and Minatare State Recreation Area.

Sand volleyball

Fun and exciting, volleyball is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. This fast-paced, easy-to-learn sport is one to try at a state park – especially with the chance to feel sand beneath your toes. Lewis and Clark, Two Rivers, Willow Creek, Swanson Reservoir and Summit Lake state recreation areas and Chadron, Niobrara and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks all have sand volleyball courts, and Windmill State Recreation Area has a net positioned on its beach.


A game of horseshoes is a great way to relax after a busy day at a state park. You can play horseshoes at Alexandria, Fort Kearny, Fremont Lakes, Minatare Lake, Rockford Lake, Summit Lake, Two Rivers and Willow Creek state recreation areas. State parks with horseshoes also include Chadron, Eugene T. Mahoney, Fort Robinson, Indian Cave, Niobrara and Platte River state parks, as well as Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park.

A state park entry permit is required; buy one ahead of your visit, and learn more about the parks mentioned here, at