Are you planning a trip to Nebraska, and Fort Robinson is on your list? We have a detailed guide to help you navigate the place and know what you should expect and do while you are there.
Some fun things to do are watching the historical buildings, live performances, hiking and biking across the park, and horseback riding. Moreover, other outdoor activities which are family-friendly are also offered.
Please continue reading for more details on how to get to the park and on all the offered activities.
Northwest Nebraska in the United States is home to the historic military outpost known as Fort Robinson. It was first built in 1874 and was a crucial military outpost during the late 19th-century Indian Wars. Throughout both World Wars, the fort also served as a prisoner-of-war camp and a place to shelter and train soldiers.
Several notable historical occurrences, such as the Red Cloud War (1866–1868) and the capitulation of the Sioux warrior Crazy Horse in 1877, included Fort Robinson in a significant way. In the early 20th century, it was also a hub for agricultural research and cattle ranching.
Fort Robinson is a well-known state park and tourist destination today; it has museums and interpretative centers that give information about the site’s history. Most buildings from the older times are still preserved for visitors to see.
For a virtual tour of the park, watch this video: Fort Robinson, Nebraska.
How To Get To Fort Robinson?
Well, now you have decided that you are going to go to Fort Robinson to learn about its history and take a trip to the historical sites. How will you get there? Below we have listed the different modes of transportation that you can take.
The list is in order of ranking based on how convenient the mode of transportation is.
The most common and convenient way to get to Fort Robinson is by car. The park is about 8 miles west of the Crawford exit on U.S. Highway 20. From other towns, such as Chadron or Alliance, you can take state highways to reach U.S. Highway 20 and then head west to the park. It is a short drive from each of these towns and is completely worth it.
If you are traveling from a different country or state, the nearest commercial airports to Fort Robinson are the Chadron Municipal Airport, 22 miles east of the park, and the Western Nebraska Regional Airport in Scottsbluff, 80 miles southwest of the park. You can rent a car from either airport to the site.
Greyhound Bus Lines serves Chadron, the closest town to Fort Robinson, with a bus station. Other bus services also operate in Chadron and other neighboring towns. However, bus service gets you to Fort Robinson directly once it is a tour bus.
Amtrak provides service to Alliance about 55 miles north of Fort Robinson. From Alliance, you can rent a car to drive to the park. The train is considered the most inconvenient mode of transportation.
If you are a sporty person situated close by, biking to the park can be a wonderful sport and activity. Several biking trails lead to the park that you can make use of.
Things To Do At Fort Robinson
We have curated a list of things you should consider at the Fort Robinson State Park below.
Explore The Historic Buildings
Fort Robinson has done a wonderful job of preserving history due to its historical significance. Some of the infamous historical buildings that you can visit and learn about while you are there include:
- The Headquarters Building
- The Commissary Building
- The Post Exchange
- The Officers Headquarters
- The Red Cloud Agency Building
Attend A Live Reenactment
Fort Robinson hosts live reenactments throughout the year, like historical gunfights, cavalry demonstrations, and Native American dance performances. We recommend you watch these if you want to learn more about the history of Fort Robinson.
Hiking And Biking
If you like outdoor activities, the park has hiking and biking trails that wind through the surrounding hills and grasslands. The trails offer views of the nearby Pine Ridge.
Yes, there is horseback riding here! You can either rent horses at the park or bring your own. There are guided trail rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, and a rodeo arena for events and competitions.
In the winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing opportunities are available here. The park also hosts a winter festival in February, featuring ice carving, snowshoe races, and other winter-themed activities.
Is Fort Robinson A Family-Friendly Destination?
Fort Robinson State Park is a family-friendly destination and caters to all age groups! If you have kids or older adults at home, do not shy away from visiting the park. Below are a few things that make it especially family-friendly.
The park makes for a perfect place for some much-needed outdoor recreation for your family. Some opportunities include hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, and horseback riding. You can easily make a family day out of this and incorporate a picnic if you wish.
The place’s rich history can serve as a great way to pique children’s interest in history, especially indigenous history. This can be an educational trip for your children and for yourself as well.
Cabins, R.V. sites, and tent camping are commonly done at Fort Robinson park. The park’s campsites have amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and grills.
As mentioned before, native American dance performances, live reenactments, and rodeos are often carried out at the park. This can serve as another fun family activity.
We should all acknowledge and understand the dark history of Fort Robinson to own our roots better. However, visiting without a plan is something we do not recommend. Based on our guide, we suggest you plan in advance and list things that interest you.