7 Outdoor Recreation Must-Dos in Kearney

These activities are your excuse to get out, explore and get going!

1. Hike/Bike Trail

People are always raving about the Kearney Trail System. We have a network of over 22 miles of trails, with a 13.1 mile trail from Cottonmill Park all the way to Fort Kearny State Recreational Park.

You can walk it, run it, bike it, bring your dog, whatever you like! Whatever you do, don’t come to Kearney without checking it out!

2. Fort Kearny State Recreation Park

Only a ten minute drive southeast of Kearney, the Fort Kearny State Recreation Area offers more than a place to park your camper. Nature trails, picnic tables, fishing pier and swimming beaches are available to help you make some memories this summer.

The Fort Kearny State Historical Park is also located just south of here. Visitors can explore reconstructed buildings, including the stockade, parade grounds, powder magazine, and blacksmith/carpenter shop and explore exhibits telling the story of the fort.

Check out the two railroad bridges the cross over the Platte River that connect to the Hike/Bike trail. This is also prime location in the spring for one of Earth’s greatest migrations. Over 600,000 Sandhill Cranes come through the area from late February to early March. Click here to learn more.

3. Kearney Water Trail

Take an afternoon float down one of the most unique recreational amenities in Kearney. There’s nothing quite like it around and people come from all over Nebraska as well as neighboring states. Recently, the city received a grant to develop enhancements to the trail, providing even more fun for its travelers.

The trail is an easy 2.3 miles. Public access points are located at Yanney Park and along Central Avenue behind Midway Auto.

Don’t have a kayak or paddle board?  Rentals are available at Kearney Paddle Sports.
For more information on the grant, click here.

4. Yanney Park

This is a popular hot-spot with the locals and visitors. Take a spin out on the lake and rent a paddle boat, canoe, kayak or water bike. The Hike/Bike Trail winds around the lake and takes you to a lookout tower with one of the best views in town. A playground and splash pad are located on site for the kids.

People can also be seen enjoying a day of fishing, walking the labyrinth, or sitting in the garden. Wide open spaces are plentiful here – so get out and enjoy!

Several events take place here, including Heritage Day and outdoor performances by Crane River Theater.

5. Cottonmill

You can find activities for the whole family at Cottonmill Park. Relax and fish in the 43-acre lake, boat and paddleboat rentals are ready for you to get out on the water, plus the park is the trailhead for the Cottonmill to Fort Kearny 13.1 mile paved Hike/Bike Trail.

Have a picnic at the shelter, visit the Nature Rotary Barn and play a game of disc golf. It’s the perfect place for a family day in the sunshine.

6. Harmon Park

Harmon Park is located in the heart of Kearney and has several different amenities to offer. A swimming pool, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, ball diamond, picnic tables, playground, fountain and a Rock Garden that includes rocks from all 50 states.

Art in the Park is held here, which includes variety of artistic styles and media from around the Midwest.

7. Golf

Whether you want to improve your technical and mental golf game, or hit the green with friends and family, golf in Kearney is just what you need!

With nine beautiful courses in the Kearney area, we’ve got you covered.
Click here for more.

There are always events and activities happening in Kearney!
Make sure to check out the Kearney Park and Recreation Summer Activities Guide and our Events Calendar for more!