LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraskans may begin enjoying recreational vehicle camping by reservation only at select state park areas starting May 20, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Limited RV camping will be available at select park areas where social distancing and group-size recommendations can be maintained to help ensure compliance with the state’s public health directives amid the COVID-19 health situation. A list of the available park areas will be posted on the agency website and updated as additional areas are established.
“We sympathize with those who have been affected by this virus and the rippling effects of trying to contain it, and we appreciate the patience and understanding of people who are passionate about camping,” Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas said. “We are pleased to now be able to allow limited RV camping, and we look forward to restoring more opportunities when the time is appropriate and as conditions allow. Our priority remains to protect the health and well-being of all Nebraskans.”
Those RV campsites will have the following requirements:
— Designated sites, which will be spaced at least 25 feet apart, can be reserved online beginning May 17 at OutdoorNebraska.org and prepaid. First-come, first-served and tent camping will not be allowed.
— Only self-contained recreational vehicles, with factory features that allow them to hold potable water, contain wastewater/sewage and connect to electrical service, will be allowed to reserve a site.
— No parks’ showerhouses or modern restrooms will be open until further notice. Vault toilets and RV dump stations will be open.
— Each campsite will be limited to eight guests, and the length of stay will be limited to seven days.
— Mormon Island State Recreation Area (SRA) near Grand Island and Danish Alps SRA near Hubbard will not be available, as they are near communities with high COVID-19 incidence. Park areas may be added to or deleted from the list as warranted and upon recommendations of health officials.
Game and Parks retains the ability to scale back the number of campsites if social practices are not followed or if public health officials determine there is an increased incidence of virus in any region of the state.
Park grounds remain open to the public for day use and a park entry permit is needed for each vehicle entering a park.
State designated beach and swimming areas will be closed until further notice, in part due to recent incidents involving large gatherings and lack of social distancing on beach areas at multiple state park venues. Other waterfront areas will remain open for day use and fishing as long as social distancing and the 10-person gathering size limit are maintained.
In addition, current Game and Parks closures for cabins, lodge rooms, group shelters, undesignated campsites, and tent camping at state park areas and wildlife management areas will be extended at least through May 31, with possible further extension.
People with park reservations for camping or lodging affected by the extended closure can contact Game and Parks for a refund or to reschedule.
Game and Parks will continue to evaluate closures and opportunities that can be restored following state guidelines and local directed health measures. More information, including a list of closures, and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at OutdoorNebraska.org.