No matter where you live in Nebraska, from the biggest city to the most remote Sandhills ranch, you are never far from a public outdoor recreation area. Many of these recreational opportunities; trails, lakes, parks, and wildlife areas are built and maintained by NRDs. Many NRD projects are developed for multiple purposes. Recreational trails are built atop of flood-control levees or along abandoned railroad lines. Dams built for flood-control often develop into recreational areas. Habitat areas and wetlands may be available to hunters and are often preserved for interpretive nature study. The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District – Protecting Lives, Protecting Property, Protecting the Future.
Stars, Strolls, & S'mores!
The Norfolk area is full of opportunities to explore the nature of Nebraska. The Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District, and the Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau want to help you discover your area trails, lakes, and wild places while highlighting the unique opportunities nighttime offers with our FREE Moon Walk event, “Stars, Strolls & S’mores.”
Traci Jeffrey, Director of the Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau, said, “The purpose of the moon walk is to provide a family-oriented activity that introduces the cultural and natural history of our area trails and lakes.”
The Moon Walks will be held on Wednesday evenings close to the full moon and begin at 7:30 p.m. Most Moon Walks last for 1-2 hours. Participants will walk an average of 1 mile round trip. Each Moon Walk starts with a short introduction of that evening’s program, followed by a hike to a designated area where we enjoy presentations. Presenters are experts in their field and are from our local community. The evening wraps up with FREE s’mores!
The first event will be held on Wednesday, May 30th at the Wood Duck Wildlife Management Area in Stanton County. Presentations include a wild herb walk, frogs and toads of Nebraska, and night photography.
The second “moon walk” will be Wednesday, June 27th at Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area in Stanton County. Presentations include native plants for native pollinators, fireflies, and star gazing.
The final night will be Wednesday, July 25th at the Cowboy Trail trailhead at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park in Norfolk. Presentations include owls of Nebraska, geocaching, and kayaking.
Jeffrey added, “Since the events take place close to home, we encourage everyone to join us and bring a friend.”
Work continues on the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the nation. When complete, the Cowboy Trail will span 321 miles. Portions are open to the public now. The trail starts in Norfolk, and is planned to continue across the state to Chadron.
Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area
Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area is located ten miles east of Norfolk, Nebraska in the rolling hills of north-central Stanton County. Many activities are available here, including boating, fishing, camping, and hunting.
Willow Creek State Recreation Area
Located 1 ½ miles southwest of Pierce, scenic Willow Creek State Recreation Area draws its name from the meandering stream that feeds the Elkhorn River in Northeast Nebraska. The 1,633-acre area includes a 700-acre flood control reservoir with excellent fishing opportunities. The area also boasts picnicking, camping, boating and an 8-mile limestone hike/bike trail.
Pilger Recreation Area
This area offers excellent hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities.
Maple Creek Recreation Area
This area opened to the public on May 21, 2011 and also offers excellent hiking, camping and fishing opportunities.
Nebraska's NRDs - Outdoor Recreation Areas
Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) offer dozens of outdoor recreation areas perfect for camping, fishing, a family picnic, hiking/biking, wildlife viewing, and much more. Explore the website to find an outdoor recreation area near you, and download the app for your iOS or Android mobile device!
LENRD Geocaching Regulations
Geocaching, also known as GPS Stash Hunt or GeoStash, involves "hiding" items, usually containers holding various "treasures" and then providing specific Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) coordinates for each "cache" on a web site. Visitors to these web sites can choose which "cache" they would like to locate using their own personal GPS. Cache searchers typically bring along their own "treasures" and make an exchange once the cache has been located.