USDA Forest Service
Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands;
Samuel R. McKelvie
Buffalo Gap, Fort Pierre,
& Oglala National Grasslands
125 North Main Street
Chadron, NE 69337
This covers the west end of the Nebraska National Forest near Chadron and Crawford. Here you will find the Soldier Creek Wilderness and the Pine Ridge National Recreation Area as well as several developed recreation sites for camping, picnicking, or trailheads for access to miles of trails into the wide open spaces of the Nebraska National Forest
Make this your destination for a relaxing outdoor experience. Here you will find the Bessey Nursery, Scott Lookout Tower, the Middle Loup River, the Dismal River OHV trail, campgrounds for horses and OHV users, the beautiful Bessey Recreation Area, and acres of wide open spaces.
The Complex consists of 38 sites on 3 differernt camping areas. Cedar Loop, River Loop and Hardwood Lane. There are 20 sites with electric hookups, a Group campground with 10 electric sites. RV dump station, flush toilets, showers, 2 Vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, 3 campsites are accessible as are the toilets. Reservations available from the National Recreation Reservation Service 1-877-444-6777.
Located south of Nenzel in Cherry County, Nebraska the 116,000 acre National Forest now has approximately 2,300 acres of hand planted timber, the remainder being a fantastic representation of the unique Nebraska Sandhills prairie ecosystem.
Popular uses of the forest include hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping and bird watching. There is one small campground located on the south western edge of the forest and a day use site on the Niobrara River for launching small water craft. Fishing is available in the adjacent Merritt Reservoir.
History: In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation establishing the Niobrara Forest Reserve, later the Niobrara Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest. In 1971, President Richard Nixon designated the Niobrara Division the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest.