Rock Creek Station State Historical Park

Quick Facts

Rock Creek Station State Historical Park

Nebraska

(402) 729-5777

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Rock Creek Station might have faded into obscurity, like so many other stage and Pony Express stations, except for one fateful day in 1861. On that July afternoon, one James Butler Hickok killed David McCanles there and began his bloody career as a gunfighter.

Today, Rock Creek is a state historical park being developed by the Commission. It encompasses some 350 acres of prairie hilltops, timber-studded creek bottoms, and rugged ravines. Deep ruts, carved by the many wagons that traveled the Oregon/California and Pony Express Trails, are plainly visible there and bear mute testimony to the rich history of the area.

Development of Rock Creek Station as a state historical park began in 1980. Archaeologists investigated and excavated sites of two ranches dating back to the 1858-1860 time period to determine building sites and to recover period artifacts. Development is now complete on the reconstruction of the buildings and corrals on both the East and West ranches. Visitors will find an excellent interpretive center, picnic areas, hiking and nature trails, as well as a modern campground on an adjoining tract. Rock Creek Station is open year-round.

Map of Rock Creek Station (NE)

Latitude, Longitude: 40.111225, -97.056321

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    The park offers four miles of mountain bike trails.

  • Hiking

    The park contains four miles of hiking trail. Hiking trail stretches from the campground to near the visitor center. Hikers also share some trails with horseback riders.

  • Historic Sites

    Rock Creek SHP's Visitor Center overlooks some 350 acres of prairie hilltops, timber-studded creek bottoms, rugged ravines and deep trail ruts. A visit to the Visitor Center can help start a mental journey back to the 1800's. Interpretation of the road ranches, "Wild Bill" Hickok and tales of trail traffic bear mute testimony to the rich history of the area.

  • Horseback Riding

    Rock Creek SRA offers a horse camping area with marked trails. The park offers approximately four miles of multi-use trails. Water is available for both campers and horses.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic tables and grills (38 of each) are available in addition to three non-electric shelters.

Seasonality/Weather

Rock Creek Station State Historical Park is open year-round but visitor center/office hours vary seasonally: From April 15 through April 23 it is open weekends only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; April 24 through September 22 it is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; from September 23 through October 29 the center is open weekends only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Directions

Driving

From Fairbury take the PWF Rd east 4.5 miles to 573 Ave., go one mile south on 573 Ave., then 1 1/4 miles east on 710 Rd. From Beatrice take Hwy 136 west to Jansen, go south on 573 Ave. for 4.5 miles, and then 1 1/4 miles east on 710 Rd.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(402) 729-5777

Links