Nebraska Game and Parks Logo With a senery of a river and a sunrise in the background.

Enjoy Halloween fun in Nebraska state parks in October

Nebraska Game and Parks Logo With a senery of a river and a sunrise in the background.

State park areas are wonderful places to celebrate Halloween in Nebraska with many hosting family-friendly activities on weekends in October. Plan your opportunity for fun at these nine park locations.

Remember: A park entry permit is required of each vehicle entering a state park area. Get yours at or at the park entry booth.

Jack O Lantern World at Mahoney through October

Mahoney State Park near Ashland introduces its newest fall attraction: Jack O’ Lantern World. From Sept. 30-Oct. 30, thousands of jack o’ lanterns carved by 50 artisans will be on display along a three-fourths mile walk.

The walk, featuring intricately carved, lighted pumpkins, is designed to be an incredible experience to celebrate Halloween, art, nature and fall. Gather friends and family to experience this one-of-a-kind whimsical experience.

Tickets are required; get yours at Ticket-holders should arrive 15 minutes before their selected start time.

For more information, call the park at 402-944-2523 or Peter at Jack O’ Lantern World at 224-757-5425.

Indian Cave SP to host 27th Haunted Hollow

Bring the family to Indian Cave State Park for three weekends of Halloween-themed fun in October with the 27th Annual Haunted Hollow.

Haunted hayrack rides, trick-or-treating, outdoor movies, scavenger hunt, pumpkin rolling, craft market and campsite-decorating contest are all on tap to keep everyone entertained Oct. 7-8, Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22.

For more details, visit the calendar event listing at

Ponca SP will host Hallowfest Oct. 8, Oct. 15

Enjoy the season of Halloween at Ponca State Park by coming to the 24th annual Hallowfest on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15.

Activities include crafts, pumpkin-rolling contest, pumpkin-carving contest, haunted drive and campground-decorating contest.

Call the park at 402-755-2284 for more information.

Johnson Lake Halloween Haunt set for Oct. 8

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area will host pumpkin painting and a campsite-decorating contest Oct. 8 during the Johnson Lake Halloween Haunt.

The pumpkin painting will take place from 1-3 p.m. at Area C. Campsite decoration judging will begin at 6 p.m. at the main campground, with prizes going to the top three finishers. Trunk or treating will take place from 3-5 p.m. in the boat parking area.

Calamus Pumpkin Carvers Event set for Oct. 15

It is all about pumpkins at Calamus State Recreation Area on Oct. 15.

The Calamus Pumpkin Carvers Event, from 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m., will include pumpkin carving, games with prizes, downhill pumpkin rolling derby, food, campsite decorating, trick-or-treating and lighted pumpkin displays.

For more details, visit the event listing in the calendar at

Branched Oak SRA to host Spooktacular on Oct. 15

Spend a day with the family Oct. 15 enjoying Spooktacular at Branched Oak State Recreation Area.

Middle Oak Creek Campground will host this event, which will include a pumpkin-rolling contest, pumpkin carving, costume contest, campsite decorating, trick-or-treating, haunted trail and haunted hayrack ride.

For more details, visit the calendar event listing at

Enjoy Halloween campsite decorating, trick-or-treating at Fremont Lakes SRA

Get into the Halloween spirit at Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area on Oct. 15 with family-friendly activities.

Campers may decorate their campsites in a Halloween theme. Then, from 5-7 p.m., children may trick-or-treat in the campground with the decoration judging takes place.

For more information, call the park at 402-727-2922.

Halloween in the Hollow is Oct. 22

Come out to Ash Hollow State Historical Park and celebrate Halloween in the Hollow on Oct. 22 from 2-6 p.m. Mountain time.

There will be kids’ games, s’mores, pumpkin picking and decorating, a scavenger hunt, hayrack rides and a costume contest, which begins at 4:30 p.m.

At 5 p.m., Trunk or Treat will be sponsored by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission conservation officers, area emergency medical services and law enforcement, with their vehicles available to view.

Direct event questions to

Wildcat Hills to host Howl in the Hills hike

Experience the Wildcat Hills like never before – at night! Discover all the creatures that make Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area their home during the Howl in the Hills hike Oct. 22.

This .57-mile hike begins at 7 p.m. Mountain time. Hikers should bring a flashlight, hiking shoes and a sense of adventure.

Register by Oct. 6 by calling 308-436-3777.

Celebrate Halloween at Red Willow Oct. 28-30

Stay at Red Willow Reservoir State Recreation Area on Oct. 28-30 and celebrate Camp and Treat.

This family Halloween event, which offers off-season camping rates of $5 off the rates for electrical and $10 tent sites, will include a campsite decorating contest, kids’ pumpkin carving contest and trick-or-treating. Campers who bring treats for kids will get reduced camping rates.

Visit the calendar event entry at for more information.

Boating access limited on some Nebraska reservoirs

Drought conditions have limited public boating access on some reservoirs across Nebraska, but the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is working to improve boating access where possible.

Conditions at many boat ramps, piers and access points are not expected to improve as long as precipitation lags far behind normal levels. For much of the state, water levels have not been this low since the drought of 2012.

While some boat ramps have been closed, and others have restrictions, for locations where access is still possible, Game and Parks asks boaters to use their best judgment when launching watercraft and to be on the alert for unanticipated hazards when out on the water.

Despite the adverse conditions, Game and Parks is working to provide boating access where it can:

A rock ramp was extended at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area before Labor Day, and a concrete ramp at Merritt Reservoir SRA has been extended several times.
Repairs are being made to a ramp at Sherman Reservoir the week of Sept. 19.
Extensive boating access improvements have begun at Enders Reservoir SRA and are expected to last through the fall.
As the result of a Nebraska Public Power District maintenance project at Sutherland Reservoir in November, Game and Parks will repair a ramp that is eroded at the water.
Boating improvements are planned at Red Willow and Swanson reservoirs this fall and winter to provide safer access during low-water periods.
Questions about these projects can be directed to

Game and Parks appreciates the public’s patience.

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