Arbor Lodge State Historical Park

Quick Facts

Arbor Lodge State Historical Park

Nebraska

(402) 873-7222

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

This beautiful estate in Nebraska City was home to J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day. From its beginning in 1855 as a four-room frame house, the magnificent mansion grew to 52 rooms through several remodelings. Authentic furnishings grace the rooms, and displays capture the life and times of this exceptional man. The collection of trees and shrubs consists of more than 260 species, including many native plants and some that are uncommon in the region. Some of the oldest and finest specimens in the arboretum were planted by Morton and the Morton family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Arboretum serves as a peaceful and aesthetic park and as a living museum of woody plants native to the area. A complete inventory of plant species has been collected and mapped. Many of the Arbor Lodge Arboretum's specimens are labeled with both their common and scientific names. Interpretive signs along the Tree Trail enhance visitors' experiences.

Map of Arbor Lodge (NE)

Latitude, Longitude: 40.680614, -95.878386

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Activities

  • Hiking

    A one-half mile tree trail winds through the original arboretum area planted by the Mortons The wood-chipped path, cool shaded benches, and labeled trees offer visitors both a pleasant and interesting experience. The arboretum, which encompasses the entire 65 acres of the park, features over 250 varieties of trees and shrubs.

  • Historic Sites

    A collection of antique carriages and wagons are displayed in the carriage house, and a stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds, formal rose garden and arboretum is a must. The Arboretum encompass more than 65 acres of hilly, wooded land at the edge of Nebraska City, just a few miles west of the Missouri River. The land was part of the estate of J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day. These grounds and the Morton mansion were donated to the State of Nebraska in 1923 by Joy, (Morton's oldest son), to be preserved as a monument to his father.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is permitted on the area and is a wonderful way to spend a leisurely afternoon, particularly at Pine Grove. This grove was planted by Morton in 1891 to prove to Governor Furnas that white pines would grow in Nebraska. This stand was replanted in 1937 after the great drought. Eastern white pine, western yellow pine and Austrian pine cover the approximately one-acre grove.

Seasonality/Weather

The Arboretum is open year round from 8am until sunset. The museum is open from April through October.

Directions

Driving

From Lincoln: Proceed on Highway 2, Go to Nebraska City exit. Exit and proceed east to Steinhart Park Road. At Steinhart Park Road take left (north) to 2nd Avenue. Turn Right on 2nd Avenue and go to entrance of park. From Omaha: Take Highway 75. Exit at Nebraska Business 75. Go East on that Highway. Go to Centennial Avenue. Turn right. Go around the park, joining 2nd Avenue. Following 2nd Avenue and go to the entrance of the park. From Omaha, I-29: Go I-29 south to Nebraska City exit. Take Highway 2 over the Missouri River bridge which becomes the J. Sterling Morton Beltway. Take the Beltway around to Nebraska City exit. Exit and proceed right (east) to Steinhart Park Road. At Steinhart Park Road. Go north to 2nd Avenue. Turn right on 2nd Avenue and go to entrance of park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(402) 873-7222

Links