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CAMPGROUND NAME: Bessey Recreation Area

VISIT DATE: 06/19/1997

UPDATE DATE: 7/30/2013

STATE: Nebraska

REGION: Rocky Mountain

RANGER DISTRICT: Bessey

NEAREST CITY/TOWN: Dunning

RESERVATIONS: 1-877-444-6777 or make on-line reservation

DIRECTIONS:
From Dunning, NE, take State Rt. 2 west 10 miles to Halsey, NE.  Continue west 
on Rt. 2 for 1.1 miles to Nebraska Recreation Area sign (State Spur 86B).  Turn 
left onto State Spur 86B and go 0.2 miles to campground entrance.

GENERAL COMMENTS:
The elevation is 2,880 ft.

The campground, a.k.a. Bessey Recreation Complex, is adjacent to Middle 
Loup River.  It is not just simply a recreation area but a recreation complex 
with tubing opportunities, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe pits, and baseball 
field.  An interpretive program may be provided upon request.  Drive or 
hike to the Scott Lookout Tower.  There, one has a wonderful panoramic view 
of Nebraska's sand hills and prairie.  Most of the plants and trees in the 
campground are not native.  Many, such as Douglas fir, Ginkgo and Norway 
spruce, were planted just to see if they would grow and thrive in Nebraska's 
sandy soil. 

The campground is composed of three loops - Hardwood, Cedar and River and 
is next to the oldest tree nursery in the United States Forest Service.  The 
Nebraska National Forest represents the largest hand-planted forested area in 
the United States.  The forest provides access to OHVs.  Dirt bikes and ATVs 
can be ridden from the campground site to trailhead only and back - 
no free-wheeling in the campground.

SEASONS
Open Seasonal: No
Open All Year: Yes

Comments:
No flush toilets and showers from September 15 through May 28

RATE AND MAXIMUM STAY PERMITTED
Rate: $8 per day - no electric hookups
$11 per day - electric hookups
Maximum Stay Permitted (days): Unlimited

CAMPGROUND SITE CONFIGURATION
No. RV Sites: 0
No. Tent Sites: 4
No. Combined Sites (Tent or RV): 30
   
   Total Sites: 34

Tent Pads: Yes
Open Sites: Yes
Wooded Sites: Yes
Equestrian Camping: No

No. Tables on Sites: 34
No. Grilles on Sites: 34

RV INFORMATION
No. Full Hookups (includes waste): 0
No. Water and Electric Only: 0
No. Water Only: 0
No. Electric Only: 22

No. RV Pull Throughs: 1
Waste Station: Yes
Potable Water at Waste Station: Yes
Average Parking Apron Size: 12' X 45'

Comments:
Hardwood Loop has paved aprons has one electric hookup.  Cedar
and River Loops have sand, dirt and cement aprons, some with 
electric hookups.

FACILITIES
Vaults: Yes
Flush Toilets: Yes
Hot Showers: Yes
Wheelchair Friendly Toilets: Yes

Public Phone: Yes
Playground: No
No. Water Spigots (non-site): 4
  No. Threaded: 4

Comments:
Hot showers are wheelchair facilities.

WATER SPORTS
Lake: No
Swimming (provided): No
Sailing: No
Boat Ramp: No
Boat Carry Down Access: Yes
Power Boating: No
Boating (no power): Yes
Water Skiing: No
Rafting (whitewater): No
Kayaking (whitewater): No

Comments:
Middle Loup River is shallow and steady flowing.  It is good for
tubing and fair for canoeing.  Campers can bring their own
equipment.  There is one outfitter; call the the Ranger District
Office for information.

HIKING
Scott Lookout Tower Trail (foot only) - 3 miles

Forest is unlimited to foot and horseback but OHVs are limited to 
designated trails.

FISHING   
There is 7-acre pond with stocked Largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie 
and catfish.  There is also a cleaning station and wheelchair friendly 
fishing pier.

CAMPGROUND NAME: Natick Horse Camp VISIT DATE: 10/27/2011 UPDATE DATE: 7/30/2013 STATE: Nebraska REGION: Rocky Mountain RANGER DISTRICT: Bessey NEAREST CITY/TOWN: Dunning RESERVATIONS: No DIRECTIONS: From Dunning, NE, take State Rt. 2 west 10 miles to Halsey, NE. Continue west on Rt. 2 for 2 miles to a "Y" intersection. Bare right onto Circle Rd. and go 6 miles to Natick Rd sign. Turn right, onto Natick Rd. and go 0.7 miles to campground on right. NOTE: Route is based on provided GPS coordinates. Circle and Nantack roads are gravel. GENERAL COMMENTS: The elevation is 2900 feet. The campground stretches along Natick Rd. Although there are Ponderosa pine providing some shade, the lack of middlestory and sites located close to each other, results in poor privacy. This campground features post stalls, a stock water tank and lots of open prairie for riding. NOTE: This campground came on-line after the authors visit. Data provided by the Bessey Ranger District office. SEASONS Open Seasonal: No Open All Year: Yes Seasonal Comment: Service provided Memorial Day through November 22 RATE AND MAXIMUM STAY PERMITTED Rate: $8 per day Maximum Stay Permitted (days): Unlimited CAMPGROUND SITE CONFIGURATION No. RV Sites: 0 No. Tent Sites: 0 No. Combined Sites (Tent or RV): 17 Total Sites: 17 Tent Pads: Yes Open Sites: Yes Wooded Sites: Yes Equestrian Camping: Yes No. Tables on Sites: 17 No. Grilles on Sites: 2 RV INFORMATION Hookups: None No. RV Pull Throughs: 0 Waste Station: No Average Parking Apron Size: 10' by 37' Comments: The parking aprons are gravel. An RV waste station is available at Bessey Recreation Area. FACILITIES Vaults: Yes Flush Toilets: No Hot Showers: No Wheelchair Friendly Toilets: Yes Public Phone: No Playground: No No. Water Spigots (non-site): 1 No. Threaded: 0 Comments: The water spigot is a handpump. WATER SPORTS - None HIKING Hiking: Yes Comments: There are no designated trails but the whole forest is open for riding and hiking. FISHING - No

CAMPGROUND NAME: Red Cloud VISIT DATE: 06/24/1997 UPDATE DATE: 2/8/2012 STATE: Nebraska REGION: Rocky Mountain RANGER DISTRICT: Pine Ridge NEAREST CITY/TOWN: Chadron RESERVATIONS: No DIRECTIONS: In Chadron, NE, at the intersection of US Rts. 20 and 385, take Rt. 385 south for 9.3 miles to campground on right. GENERAL COMMENTS: The elevation is 3,800 ft. The campground is a single spur ending in a loop stretching along US Rt. 385. The dense vegetation, Ponderosa pines at the south end of the campground and a thick stand of various hardwoods on the north end, between the highway and campsites, blocks any views of the passing traffic but not the noise. The dense vegetation as well as separation between sites provides fair to good privacy. The groomed grass understory gives the campground a manicured appearance. Several campsites have pedestal grilles. This campground is the only one in the Nebraska National Forest with a playground. Possible day trips are Oglala National Grassland, Toadstool Geologic Park in Oglala National Grassland, Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed, Chadron State Park, Soldier Creek Wilderness, and the various attractions around Chadron, NE. SEASONS Open Seasonal: Yes Open All Year: No Seasonal Comment: Services provided May 19 through November 18 RATE AND MAXIMUM STAY PERMITTED Rate: $5 per day Maximum Stay Permitted (days): 14 CAMPGROUND SITE CONFIGURATION No. RV Sites: 0 No. Tent Sites: 3 No. Combined Sites (Tent or RV): 10 Total Sites: 13 Tent Pads: No Open Sites: Yes Wooded Sites: Yes Equestrian Camping: No No. Tables on Sites: 13 No. Grilles on Sites: 13 RV INFORMATION Hookups: None No. RV Pull Throughs: 3 Waste Station: No Average Parking Apron Size: 13' X 35' Comments: The parking aprons are gravel. An RV waste station, with potable water, is available for a fee at Chadron State Park, 1 mile north of campground on US Rt. 385. Leveling an RV on some parking aprons might be a challenge. FACILITIES Vaults: Yes Flush Toilets: No Hot Showers: No Wheelchair Friendly Toilets: No Public Phone: No Playground: Yes No. Water Spigots (non-site): 0 WATER SPORTS - None HIKING - No FISHING The Chadron Reservoir is located 3 miles south of campground on US Rt. 385 where fishing is available.

CAMPGROUND NAME: Whitetail VISIT DATE: 06/19/1997 UPDATE DATE: 7/30/2013 STATE: Nebraska REGION: Rocky Mountain RANGER DISTRICT: Bessey NEAREST CITY/TOWN: Dunning RESERVATIONS: No DIRECTIONS: From Dunning, NE, take State Rt. 2 west 10 miles to Halsey, NE. Continue straight on Rt. 2 1.1 miles to Nebraska National Forest Recreation Area sign (State Spur 86B). Turn left onto State Spur 86B and go 3.1 miles to Whitetail campground sign (Forest Rt. 203). Turn left onto Rt. 203 (sand and dirt) and go 7.8 miles to another Whitetail campground sign (Forest Rt. 277). Turn left onto Rt. 277 and go 3 miles to campground. NOTE: Forest Rt. 277 is a sand-based, rutted, narrow single lane road, which crosses a prairie. Horse trailers should be pulled with a 4-wheel drive truck. GENERAL COMMENTS: The elevation is 2,840 ft. The campground, overlooks the Dismal River and is designed as a horse camp. It is also popular with ATV enthusiasts. There are ample, well-constructed stalls and a corral. A windmill supplies water for the livestock. There are excellent views of the Dismal River, prairie and sand hills. Cottonwoods and other deciduous trees provide shade. Although the campground accommodates most any size RV/horse trailer, Forest Rt. 277 is not RV friendly. SEASONS Open Seasonal: Yes Open All Year: Yes Comments: Services provided Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. RATE AND MAXIMUM STAY PERMITTED Rate: $8 per day Maximum Stay Permitted (days): Unlimited CAMPGROUND SITE CONFIGURATION No. RV Sites: 0 No. Tent Sites: 10 No. Combined Sites (Tent or RV): 0 Total Sites: 10 Tent Pads: No Open Sites: Yes Wooded Sites: Yes Equestrian Camping: Yes No. Tables on Sites: 10 No. Grilles on Sites: 8 FACILITIES Vaults: Yes Flush Toilets: No Hot Showers: No Wheelchair Friendly Toilets: No Public Phone: No Playground: No No. Water Spigots (non-site): 2 No. Threaded: 0 Comments: Water spigots are hand pumps. Water for horses at windmill is not tested. WATER SPORTS Lake: No Swimming (provided): No Sailing: No Boat Ramp: No Boat Carry Down Access: Yes Power Boating: No Boating (no power): Yes Water Skiing: No Rafting (whitewater): No Kayaking (whitewater): No Comments: Dismal River is shallow - limited tubing and canoeing. HIKING Dismal Trail (multi-use) - 9 miles Forest is unlimited to foot and horseback but OHVs and motorized bikes are limited to designated trails. FISHING - No




Fred and Suzi Dow