Fort Kearny State Historical Park and Recreation Area
1020 V Rd., Kearney, NE 68845
Fort Kearny State Historical Park (spelled with one less “e” than the name of the nearby community) began as a frontier post in 1848 to protect pioneers traveling the many trails that merged here near the Platte River. A visitor center museum and blacksmith’s shop preserve the era of the pioneers. Cannons fire as part of living history demonstrations taking place on the parade grounds during holidays and special events in the 80-acre park.
The adjacent Fort Kearny State Recreation Area includes 180 acres of wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Elusive birds such as cinnamon teal are spotted here, and even rarer five-foot-tall and bright white whooping cranes appear on occasion and take the birding world by storm. Views of the sandhill crane migration are enjoyed in March and April from the pedestrian bridge.