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“Great Way To Experience History”

Rock Creek Station State Historical Park
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Fairbury
Attraction details
Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Great Way To Experience History”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Oregon trail wagon ruts, pony express stop, restored buildings, maps and stories from that period, wild west stuff like shootings - it's all here along with lot's of trails and a campground. We visited on a recent early March Sunday when the weather was in the 60's (yay!) and had the place to ourselves. Spent a few hours and really enjoyed it. You can link this up with a drive through Fairbury (small rail museum, historic city hall build by stone masons over a hundred years ago) and over to Beatrice. You'll need your Nebraska parks pass.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank dave c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Interesting glimpse into the past”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We have been to this park a number of times in the past and are always puzzled that there are not more folks enjoying this lovely historical area. Maybe because it's kind of out in the middle of nowhere, but it is definitely worth a visit. Amazing to stand on the Oregon Trail and see the ruts where nothing grows even after more than 150 years. If you close your eyes you can almost hear the old wagon wheels creaking up the hill. Lots of history here about Wild Bill Hickok, the Pony Express, and life as it would have been at a road ranch along the old trail. Many of the east ranch buildings have been rebuilt from old photos, including the house where Wild Bill and a couple of his men shot James McCandless and several other victims amidst much controversy. There is also a livery stable and corral for some of the horseback riders who use the park. Nice little museum with clean restrooms are at the entrance to the park. There is now a $2.00 fee to see the museum -- used to be included in the price of the park permit -- think it still should be but that's the way it is. Also a beautiful drive through some very dense woods will take you down to the picnic area. We enjoyed watching hummingbirds sip nectar from the flower beds by the old windmill. Plenty of wild flowers all through the prairie-- this has been a really good summer for them. We took a drive through the camp ground before we left, one of the nicest ones we have seen. There is also an area for horse trailers and a corral with water if you bring your own horses for a ride on the many trails. Very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Huskerredhead22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“History and More”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Great for Oregon Trail and Pony Express "buffs". Small but authentic museum in the visitors center. Must have NE State Park Pass or pay a day use fee, camp sites are also available for an additional charge. It's about a quarter mile walk on dirt path to see the restored buildings. Worth the effort and for the physically challenged the ranger "might" be able to transport. Examples of prairie plants are labeled. Check calendar at the web site for date (usually June) of "Rock Creek Station Days" when costumed folk are present, also rides in a covered wagon drawn by a team of oxen can be enjoyed. Road is paved from Fairbury to the park. There are hiking trails, and facilities if you bring your own horse, so one could easily spend a weekend if interested.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Frozencaribou1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Hike back in time”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Lots of walking room here, which I liked. Terrific information about the Oregon Trail. Definitely worth the visit. The "ranger" wasn't all too helpful/knowledgeable, but there are plenty of brochures and books available.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Tracy_M651
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Oregon Trail Ruts Still Visible Here”
Reviewed June 29, 2012

Rock Creek Station State Historical Park is located just SE of Fairbury, Nebraska right on the Oregon Trail. Visitors can still see the ruts carved in the landscape by the many wagons that passed through. The ranches and outbuildings have been rebuilt to look just as they did in the 1850s. There is a beautiful visitors center with many artifacts and information about the Oregon Trail also also the Pony Express Station which was located there. There is also a slide show and narrative that is very interesting which provides lots of great information before you hike down to the ranches. We visited the first weekend of June during Rock Creek Trail Days and they had living history demonstrations, entertainment and a buffalo stew cookout. There's a very nice campground with modern amenities, picnic shelters and trails to hike. Great family fun!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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