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Open Year-round
Yes
Reservations possible?
Yes
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Rarely full

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Price per night (basic site)

8.00 $ (6.72 €)

Pros

Wooded sites. River access. Group sites. Nice picnic pavilions.

Cons

None.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Managed by

U.S. Forest Service

Reservation phone number

18774446777

Address

River Loop
40637
Halsey, NE 69142
United States

Features

ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Wildlife
Family friendly
Wildflowers
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Potable water
Basketball
Fishing
Flushing toilets
Bird watching
Covered picnic areas
Rental facilities

Access

Vehicle

Total number of sites

40

Maximum trailer length

40.00 ft (12.19 m)

Location

Field Guide

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