Camping at Mahoney State Park
Situated about 30 minutes southwest of Omaha in Ashland, NE, Mahoney State Park is our go-to destination for weekend camping.
There are tons of activities for the kids, and it is only $18 per night for paved campgrounds with water and electric hookups. I don’t know if they have any campgrounds with sewer, but this is rare for State Parks in general.
In my opinion, it makes little practical difference as long as there is a decent dump station nearby – and there is. Our travel trailer has a 50 gal black water tank, and between the six of us, I have yet to even come close to filling that thing in 2-3 days.
If you are reasonable with toilet flushes, a family of 4 should be able to make it at least a week before needing to dump. If this is a concern for you, I have heard the Barker “blueboy” is a great way to get waste to the dump station without having to move your rig, though I have not used it myself.
The lots are spaced generously and each has a fire ring and picnic tables. It is also pretty easy to get in and out.
You may notice that in the above image my front stabilizer jacks are missing. I bought this unit used, and little details like, oh, the overall stability of the trailer can get overlooked in the excitement of buying an RV. Have I mentioned that you should buy your first RV new? Well, you should.
Mahoney has two campground loops, Lakeside and Little Creek. Most of the campgrounds on the Lakeside Loop are either lake front or have a view of the lake. The only advantage to staying at the Little Creek Loop is that there is a nice size playground at the entrance to the loop.
Both loops have nicely maintained bathroom facilities with showers and water spigots for filling up your fresh water jugs. You can sit on the toilet without worrying about what may be crawling up the walls or your leg. That gets you all five stars in my book.
My kids prefer Lakeside because of the access to paddle boats, and there are always plenty of geese to follow around.
My son is particularly fond of the fire ring and anything to do with making fire and burning random stuff. Ok, so am I.
Firewood is available at the lodge on-site for $5 per bundle. If you’re coming from out of town, be aware that bringing wood from your home state is frowned upon due to Ash Borers. It is just as easy to collect the wood you need from surrounding areas anyway.
To be honest, I personally don’t care for their firewood much anyway. It seems almost impossible to get it going. Kendra is convinced that I am just not good at starting fires, but buying your firewood from the local gas station on your way into town is well worth the trouble.
We usually just send the kids out with the collapsible wagon to collect sticks immediately after we arrive. It gives us a few minutes of peace to get everything set up, and they are more than happy to roam around and trying to find the biggest sticks.
Also, for the record, I am great at starting fires.
Kendra has gotten quite good at campfire cuisine, and I’m sure there will be a post about all of the fun recipes we have prepared coming soon.
If you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive place to camp out for the weekend (or even longer) I highly recommend staying at Mahoney State Park. And if you see me there, stop by and say hi!
Shitter’s full! Thanks for reading 🙂