Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Vistors Guide

Where is Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

28500 W Park Hwy I-80, Exit #426, Ashland, NE 68003

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is located on the Platte River in Ashland, Nebraska. The Platte River is a major river in Nebraska and a tributary of the Missouri River, flowing into the Mississippi River, flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The state park is located between Nebraska’s two cities of Omaha and Lincoln. Omaha is 32 miles north east of the state park, and Lincoln is 30 miles south west of the state park. Closer towns are Ashland, and Louisville offering a few services. Ashland is 4 miles east of the park, and Louisville is 12 miles west.

How Big is Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Eugene T. Mahoney US State Park sits at an elevation of 1,191 feet and is relatively flat located along the Platte River.

The park is on 673 acres and includes many features: an aquatic center, indoor playground, hiking and biking trails, a treetop ropes course, an observation tower, indoor rock climbing, an ice skating rink, the Peter Kiewit Lodge, the Caddy’s Parkside Grille, an arts and crafts center, cabins, a campground, a marina, a store and gift shop, boat and fishing rentals, picnic area, tennis courts, a miniature golf course and a driving range.

sitting in a field with a breezy wind

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Weather

The weather around this state park has four solid seasons, winter bringing snow and cold temperatures and summer bringing warm, sunny days. December and January have the highest snowfall with an average of 6 inches a month and temperatures of an average high in the mid 30’s and an average low in the teens.

Temperatures warm up in April to mid 60’s, summer coming around the corner. June through September are the warmest months with temperatures in the 80’s. The warmest month is July with an average high of 89 degrees. During the summer, the average temperature is in the 60’s.

The park is most visited in the summer when water activities are most pleasurable in the hot summer temperatures. However, the park can be enjoyed in the winter and snow as well with lodging open year-round and winter activities such as cross country skiing and sledding. 

When did Eugene T. Mahoney Become a State Park

The state of Nebraska purchased the land in 1985 and opened the park in 1991. Eugene T. Mahoney was a former state senator and director of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Mahoney was passionate about preserving state park land and is remembered in the park with the Mahoney family crest as the state park’s symbol.

Things to do in Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

The park offers activities year-round to be enjoyed by all ages and physical ability levels. Activities vary by season, most outdoor summer activities ending on Labor Day weekend. Our State Park Visitors Guide outlines below some of the exciting activities Eugene T. Mahoney Park has to offer.

Horse ride on a Trail Ride in Eugene T park

Go on a Trail Ride

From May through mid-October the park offers trail rides starting from John Wayne Stables.

Go on a Ropes Course

Go Ape is a 2-3-hour tour with ziplines, obstacles, and ladders high up in the forest.

Swim at the Aquatic Center

The center has two water slides, a wave pool, sun deck, and concession area open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Golfing in the sun while in a state park

Play Golf

There is a miniature golf course, a driving range, and a disc golf course. John R. Lauritzen Driving Range has golf club rentals available. The activities center rents out other gear for playing other sports such as tennis, biking, disc golfs, soccer balls, and more sports gear.

Paddleboat on Baright Lake

Owen Marina rents out paddleboats, fishing, camping supplies, and a variety of games and toys. The marina is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Ice Skate During the Winter

The activity center rents out ice skates from mid-November to May.

Climb at Venture Climb

Located at the activity center is a 42-foot climbing wall available with equipment for rent.

Watch a Live Performance at the Theatre

Denman and Mary Mallory Kountze Memorial Theater offers live performances year-round.

Go on the Alpine Slide

The alpine slide will give you a great thrill as you fly down the hillside.

observation tower in eugene

Hike up the Observation Tower

The 70-foot tower overlooks the Platte River valley and is a great viewpoint. A 2.1-mile loop takes you up the observation tour and is rated easy for all levels.

When to go to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

The state park is open year-round with activities, lodging, and dining open year-round. Summer operations are from June through August, and winter operations are from September through May. Activities differ from winter to summer, but both seasons offer a large variety of activities to enjoy.

The Peter Kiewit Lodge, Caddy’s Parkside Grill, gift shop, event center, observation tower, picnic areas, and Baright fishing lake are open year-round. Horseback trail rides, the aquatic center, climbing wall, driving range, miniature golf course, marina, and theatre are open from Memorial weekend through Labor Day. Winter activities include cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, and ice fishing.

Must-Have things to Bring to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

With so many activities to enjoy year-round at this state park, you will need to pack to enjoy all of the activities. The state park does have equipment rentals and a variety of services for visitor’s convenience. List of Parks wants you to be prepared by suggesting to bring the following items with you:

Park Maps

With over 600 acres to explore and lots of activities, have a map on hand to easily navigate to each activity.

Hiking Boots

Whether you want to hike on some trails, or try your hand at the rock-climbing wall, have sturdy boots that can handle all of the activities.

Swim Gear

Bring a swimsuit to enjoy the aquatic center as well as paddleboats.

hiking boots for Eugene T Mahoney state park

Active Wear

There are plenty of activities to enjoy that require active wear such as the tennis courts, rock-climbing wall, ropes course, horseback riding, hiking trails, and paddle boat rentals.

Warm Layers

The evenings cool down into the 50’s and 60’s during the summer, so pack some warm layers even during the hot summer months. Winters are chilly and require winter snow gear and solid snow boots.

Water and Snacks

Although there are concessionaires and a restaurant, bring plenty of snacks and water as the restaurant and convenience stores have limited hours.

Eugene T camp ground green wooden cabin

Where to stay in Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

The Peter Kiewit Lodge is located in the park and offers 40 guest rooms with views of the Platte River valley. Within the park is also a campground and cabins available for rent. There are 57 cabins available for rent and 148 campsites available by reservation. 

More hotels are available north of the Platte River outside of Omaha city such as the Green Gables Inn, Super 8 Wyndham Gretna, and West Omaha/ NE Lincoln KOA Holiday, all under 10 miles away from the park.

Just 2.4 miles away from the state park is Kimberly Creek Retreat offering unique yurts to stay in.

Food Nearby Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

In the state park, Caddy’s Parkside Grill serves lunch and dinner. There are 2 convenience stores offering snacks and drinks located at the activities center and the marina. Outside of the park just 10 miles away in Ashland is Parker’s Smokehouse offering famous slow-cooked meats.

Just 3-miles away from the state park is Round the Bend Steakhouse & Saloon, a local’s restaurant known for hosting the annual Testicle Festival serving cow testicles.

The town of Ashland is just 5-miles away and has a supermarket for grocery shopping to bring your own food to the state park. There are also a variety of other restaurants in Ashland.

girl reading the flight list near the state park

Airports Near Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Lincoln Airport is the closest regional airport to the state park located a 27-minute drive south west of the park. Eppley Airfield is another major airport located in Omaha just a 36-minute drive north east.

Renting a car and driving to the state park is recommended, however you can take a shuttle or taxi from either airport if you plan to stay in the state park lodging.

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