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Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground

High Great Plains, Nebraska

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Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground

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  • The Bessey Nursery is adjacent to the campground.
- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A trailer enters the camping area through a memorial gateway.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A U.S. Forest Service symbol adorns the gateway.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • The large picnic area is well maintained.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • There is a large picnic shelter.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A basketball court is available.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A designated tornado shelter is conveniently located.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Most campsites have trees.
- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Space between most sites is generous.
- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Sites have picnic tables, and many have benches, too.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Campfire rings have grills.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Restrooms are convenient.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • The group site has its own picnic shelter.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Restroom with a group site directly behind it.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • Sites near the river have trees, too.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A short set of stairs leads to the river.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A dog plays in the middle of the shallow river.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A shower is available by the river.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
  • A seating area is alongside the river.- Bessey Recreation Complex + Campground
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Wooded sites. River access. Group sites. Nice picnic pavilions.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
High Great Plains, NE
Access: 
Vehicle
Managed by: 
U.S. Forest Service
Price per night (basic site): 
8.00 $ (6.72 €)
Congestion: 
Rarely full
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Maximum trailer length: 
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Reservations possible: 
Yes
Total number of sites: 
40
Current Local Weather:
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Campground Description

Campground Description

Pro Contributor

As adventurers travel through Nebraska and see many miles of corn, it’s easy to understand why the state’s official nickname is “The Cornhusker State.” What might surprise you is that Nebraska once had another official state name. From 1895 to 1945, it was known as “The Tree Planter State.”

Some of the efforts of those early tree planters can be seen when you stop at the beautiful, wooded Bessey Recreation Complex and Campground. Located in central Nebraska, the recreation complex is in the Nebraska National Forest and next to the oldest tree nursery in the United States Forest Service. Both the nursery and the recreation complex were named in honor of Dr. Charles Edwin Bessey, a professor of botany at the University of Nebraska from 1884 to 1915.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at the Bessey Recreation Complex and Campground including swimming in the adjacent, shallow Middle Loup River, fishing in the stocked pond, playing basketball, riding bicycles, trail riding ATVs, mountain biking, hiking, birdwatching, savoring a picnic, or spending the night in a shady, woodland campsite.

Most of the 40 campsites for tents or RVs are in full shade, and many are accessible. Some sites have electric hookups with 20-, 30- or 50-amp pedestals. A group site offers 11 electrical hookups, and it’s convenient to vault toilets and has a dumpster and its own picnic shelter.

Since Nebraska is considered to be located in a region of the country known as “Tornado Alley,” it’s important to know that the Bessey Recreation Complex and Campground has a designated tornado shelter.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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