Note: This visit to Indian Cave State Park was part of a full day trip from Omaha. Most of the day was spent in Brownville, which you can read about in yesterday’s post.
Not far from the Missouri border, about 10 miles from Brownville, is the Nebraska attraction, Indian Cave State Park. A little off the beaten path, this gorgeous park is located near the Missouri River and is known for its namesake, Indian Cave. For a detailed history, head to OutdoorNebraska.com.
If you’ve been to the Loess Hills in southwest Iowa, this park will have a familiar feel to it given that it is, in fact set in the Loess Hills (new fact for me, I didn’t think Nebraska could claim Loess Hills).
There are lots of campsites – and backcountry camping is allowed – so Mr. Wonderful and I decided we may just come back in the fall to camp here.
With a park map in hand, that’s where we headed to first. Having only seen one picture of the park, I honestly expected the cave to be cavernous. Something we could walk in and explore. Maybe it’s the “Goonies” fan in me.
What we saw, then, was a disappointment.
The graffiti couldn’t be ignored. It covered the walls of this landmark.
Farley and I did attempt to find the prehistoric petroglyphs of animals on the wall amid the graffiti.
We both lost interest quickly and headed back to the car, where a sleeping Mooch and bored Mr. Wonderful waited.
Onward into the park we drove.
We made a pitstop to play in an ancient park. The hypochondriac in me didn’t like the chipping paint and sharp metal edges on the playground equipment but the kids loved the place.
The swings were a hit.
Our next stop was at the Living History cabins. The resident soap maker, blacksmith, candle maker and broom maker are there on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (from Memorial Day into October).
We arrived near 4 p.m. and so did a quick run through the area.
The cabin was the most interesting to the children.
Our final stop was a scenic overlook. We watched five raptors soar in the wind.
It was peaceful, until Mooch broke out into “Let It Go” and Farley interrupted my brief history lesson by asking when the aliens came.
I think we were all ready to call it a day.
There is a lot more to explore in the park, so we’ll return someday soon.
If you go
Indian Cave State Park
65296 720 Road, Shubert, Nebraska
Getting there from Omaha
South on Highway 75, East on Highway 136 (9 miles), South on Highway 67 (9 miles), East on Highway 64E (5 miles).
Or you can take Interstate I-29 South, take Exit 110 to Brownville. Follow US-136 West (7 miles), South on NE-67 S (9 miles), East on NE-64E (5 miles). Continue on NE-64F Recreation Road and you’ll get there.
– Horseback trail rides are available in season
– There is a restored schoolhouse and general store from the old river town of St. Deroin, where old-time crafts are demonstrated on weekends during the summer
– Halloween is celebrated throughout October. Expect hayrack rides on certain dates, as well as a haunted forest. After hearing the soapmaker describe it (The Headless Horseman makes an appearance with a chainsaw), I’d suggest only older kids go to it!