The best retreat in Nebraska can be found in Fort Robinson State Park, which has conserved artifacts and old pathways used by pioneers. This park offers many chances for camping, hiking, mountain biking, equine activities, and nearby sights that merit several days of exploring.
Trail rides, historical tours, cookouts, swimming, trout fishing, arts and crafts, hiking, jeep and stagecoach trips, watching bison herd pastures, purebred Texas longhorn herds, and other activities are available. There is something for everyone.
Keep reading below for more information.
About Fort Robinson State Park
West of Crawford in western Nebraska, Fort Robinson State Park offers well over 22,000 acres of breathtaking Pine Ridge beauty, intriguing Old West history, first-rate accommodation, entertaining activities, picturesque campsites, and the park’s indigenous herds of buffalo and longhorn cattle.
This historical outpost was operational from the time of the Indian Wars until the end of World War II. Famous Sioux leader Crazy Horse was killed in 1879 during the Cheyenne Rebellion. For the Red Cloud Indian Agency, the fort has had several uses, including a cavalry remount station, a K-9 dog training facility, a prisoner of war camp, and a beef research facility.
To explain the history of the Fort, the State Historical Society runs a museum and other renovated or reconstructed display buildings. The Trailside Museum, which explains the geography and natural history of the area, is run by the University of Nebraska.
A day in the fort can be spent in a variety of ways. To learn more about this special park, the first item on the schedule should be a ride on the horse-drawn tour. Take a cool horseback ride through Pine Ridge, a Jeep safari among the buttes, or one of the Fort Robinson Express’ well-liked wildlife trips.
As it gets warm, go to the indoor Lindeken Pool with a sun terrace and a wading pool outside.
During the summer, the Fort Robinson Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. From mid-April to mid-November, the park can also accommodate group gatherings. The Sutler’s Shop at the Activity Center sells snacks.
For more information about this magnificent park, watch this video below:
History of Fort Robinson Park
Prominent Sioux Chief Crazy Horse died at Fort Robinson, also the scene of the 1879 Cheyenne Outbreak. The fort has operated as a cavalry remount center, K-9 dog training facility, Prisoner camp, and beef research station for the Red Cloud Indian Agency over the years. In 1962, a state park was built there.
It is now held by the Nebraska State Historical Society and serves as a branch office and a museum for the organization. Brick barracks constructed in 1909 currently house the Game and Parks Commission’s lodge, information center, and restaurant and are located just south of the post headquarters.
The granary, powder magazine, veterinary hospital, wheelwright shop, blacksmith shop, and store are among the other ancient buildings on the property. The fort’s grounds contain several historic structures that host exhibitions or provide lodging for tourists traveling to this National Historic Site.
Activities in and Around Fort Robinson State Park
The top activities in and near Fort Robinson State Park are listed below.
Explore the Park
Western Nebraska is littered with historical sites that are tucked away in some of the most picturesque state parks in the Midwest, such as Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford, NE. Several of the original structures from Fort Robinson, which functioned as a military post from 1873 till after World War II, are still operational at Fort Robinson State Park today.
The region has a lengthy history and still offers a variety of activities, accommodations, and opportunities to learn about the area’s fascinating past.
Most trails in Fort Robinson State Park are accessible to bike riders, horse riders, and hikers. Plenty of flora and animals to see along the paths as you travel through forests, meadows, streams, and rocky slopes.
For a peaceful nature trip that spans about 11 miles from the parking lot at the North and Middle Fork trailheads and links to the Trooper Trail, go to the Soldier Creek Loop.
At the Fort Robinson Campsite Area, take the picturesque drive into Smiley Canyon, which passes through a lovely canyon where bison and pronghorn can be seen foraging freely. You will have some of the nicest views in the entire park to yourself because this gorgeous route does not encounter a lot of traffic.
Many shaded camping sites with electricity hookups, picnic tables, contemporary bathrooms and showers, and shelters are available at Fort Robinson State Park. Also, the park has horse stables where you may board your horse at night.
The Fort Robinson campsites provide a variety of hiking and riding routes, making them the ideal location for camping and enjoying nature.
Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron, NE
Visit the Museum of the Fur Trade in neighboring Chadron to learn more about how difficult life was for early inhabitants. The museum is located on the site of a former trading station that was built for the American Fur Company in 1837. It holds a remarkable assortment of trade items, silverware, fabrics, costumes, and other things.
Post Playhouse, Crawford, NE
Attend Crawford’s Post Playhouse, the top live theater group in Northwestern Nebraska, to unwind after a strenuous day of outdoor activity. The small but charming theater hosts multiple rotating performances at once, bringing together some of the top experts from around the nation and the local area.
You may reserve a trip in an open-air Jeep for an exhilarating journey around Fort Robinson’s buttes and discover the geography and history of the region while feeling the wind in your hair. Reserve a seat on the horse-drawn tour of the park and the nearby buttes for a more leisurely alternative.
Fort Robinson is one of the many parks in Nebraska that are highly underrated. But if you’re in the area, we highly recommend you visit the place. You won’t run out of things to do, and the scenic drives will be worth it.