Over 5 Reasons to Visit Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Greetings, blogosphere! Today we’ve decided we’re over New York (where PBN is headquartered), so we’re following our healthy sense of wanderlust and heading to the Midwest. We’d tell you to grab your tent and camping gear and come along for the ride, but we’re not sure of your schedule, so we figured you can experience the trip vicariously until you’re ready to plan your own.

The good thing about this virtual trip is that it isn’t subject to normal constraints, like time, so man, that was fast! We’ve arrived! Our first (and only) stop on this trip is Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in Ashland, Nebraska, which is in between Omaha and Lincoln. Since we want to be the best tour guides we can be, we’re enlisting the help of our Pocket Ranger® apps. And, lo and behold! Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is one of the places participating in the Post Grape-Nuts Fit “What’s Your Mountain?” Challenge. Wow, can you believe this luck?! (You shouldn’t. We fixed it!) But we did that for good reason! Because, honestly, the only way to tour a park should be with this fun and useful scavenger hunt game. It leads you to all the best features of the park and gives you the chance to win prizes. So, now that that’s established, let’s get GeoChallenging.

Activity Center

The first stop on our tour is the Activity Center, where you will find, for lack of a better word, lots of activity! The park is great for all seasons, partially because the Activity Center provides year-round entertainment by housing an indoor playground, a concession stand, and an ice skating rink. In fact, there’s so much fun to be had there that you may not even want to leave to visit the rest of the park! (Not that we recommend that. We’re just saying it’s a pretty fantastic place!) It’s so fantastic, in fact, that visiting will put you ahead in the (GeoChallenge) game. For more information, see here.

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park Ice Skating

Image: www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

The Family Aquatic Center

The next stop on the tour is the Family Aquatic Center. Here, you’ll find a 0-depth swimming pool, a wave pool, yet another concession stand, and curling, 200-plus foot waterslides! It’s open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, weather-permitting. And, you’ll earn points on your GeoChallenge for swimming, splashing, and sliding.

Eugene T. Mahoney Family Aquatic Center

Image: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Activities Galore

In addition to what we’ve already seen, there are tons of other things to do! What do we have here, you say? We’ve got miniature golf! We’ve got a driving range! We’ve got tennis and basketball courts and softball fields! We’ve got horse trails and hiking trails and biking trails! And we’re still not done yet! We’ve got a 70-foot observation tower (which will get you points on the Challenge!)  We’ve got picnicking and crafts and fishing! We’ve got paddle boating and a nature conservatory! And now we’ve got a sore throat from listing all of the many and wonderful activities we’ve got.

Eugene T. Mahoney dock

Image: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

And even more activities (but now we’re talking winter-focused)

Lest you forget, Mahoney is truly a year-round destination. Depending on conditions, you can cross country ski, sled, go on toboggan runs, snowboard, and ice fish!

Eugene T. Mahoney Snowboarding

Image: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

The Many Lodging Options

So now that we’ve seen and done most of the many things Mahoney has to offer, (which is a pretty incredible feat, considering we were able to snowboard and swim outdoors on the same day. Seriously, what an advantage this whole virtual tour thing is!) we should probably find a place to stay the night. Lucky for us, the park has loads of options!

First there’s the Little Creek and Lakeside campgrounds, which offer spacious pads under the trees near Owen Marina Lake. Modern shower and latrine buildings, along with drinking water, are located nearby.

We can also choose to stay in the Eugene T. Mahoney State Park cabins, which are modern housekeeping cabins “secluded on wooded ridgetops”. They’re equipped with linens, basic cookware, outdoor decks, and other amenities, and have either three, four, or six bedrooms.

Eugene T. Mahoney Lodge

Image: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Last but not least, there’s the Peter Kiewit Lodge, which contains 40 guest rooms. Each room has AC and heat, wireless Internet, a private bath, a TV, and a telephone. If you’re feeling luxe and don’t want to camp, it’s a great option. Most of the rooms have decks with a great view of the Platte River.

[7-10 Hours Later]

Hey, we don’t know how long you sleep (especially in virtual reality.) But now that we’ve camped, the tour is over. We hope you’ll come back in real life to play the Post Grape-Nuts Fit “What’s Your Mountain?” Challenge!

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