Papio NRD Elkhorn & Platte River Access Sites

  • A) Elkhorn Crossing (intersection of 252nd & Bennington Road)
  • B) West Maple Road (West Maple Road northeast of Waterloo)
  • C) Platte River Landing (near Highway 64)
  • D) Graske Crossing (southeast corner of West Dodge Road & west of 204th St.)

High river flows occasionally force the Papio NRD to temporarily close the river access sites for safety purposes. Park closures for Elkhorn River sites are called for when the Elkhorn River gauge at Waterloo reads a stage of 4 feet or greater. Platte River Landing will close when the gauge at Leshara reads 7 feet or above.

Also, river access ramps may need to be cleaned of silt, debris and safety inspected before reopening.

Access Sites – Open or Closed? 

You can find out whether the access sites are open or closed throughout the season here:

The access sites are open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. through November 1.

River Access Sites

A) Elkhorn Crossing Recreation Area

Elkhorn Crossing Recreation Area is located just east of the intersection of elkhorn-crossing252nd and Bennington Rd. in Douglas County.

The public-access site features a boat ramp, RV sites with electric and water hook-ups, small playground, and restrooms. For safety and environmental reasons, the park is glass free.

The park provides a large-group camping location for local youth, families, river float trip enthusiasts and others. Primitive camping is allowed at Elkhorn Crossing Recreation Area on a first-come, first-served basis.

Campsite Registration Fees

  • Tent sites – $15 per night
  • Group camping – $10 per night/per tent
  • RV sites – $30 per night (non-refundable)

All camping and RV sites can only be reserved for seven consecutive days. Campers need to register at the campground registration kiosk upon entering the facility.

The boat ramp is used by many as a put-in location for float trips to the Papio NRD’s other river access sites at W. Maple Rd and Graske Crossing near W. Dodge Rd. These three sites facilitate short to moderate river float trips for tubers, canoeists, and kayakers. These activities have blossomed in our metro area due to the Papio NRD’s construction of river launch and landing areas.

The rustic, 27-acre Elkhorn Crossing park is managed by the Papio NRD and was constructed in 1989 as part of a major riverbank stabilization project by the Papio NRD and the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission.

Thousands of immigrants, bound for the west, camped near this area waiting to cross the river.

B) West Maple Rd. Site

The West Maple Rd. access site is located across from the Village of Waterloo.  The Papio NRD maintains this area that features canoe launching and landing, picnicking, restrooms and parking.

C) Platte River Landing

Located near Highway 64 on the Platte River, Platte River Landing is a 10-acreplatte-river-landing site offering public access to the Platte River.

Platte River Landing offers a concrete boat ramp, fishing access trail, picnic tables, playground, grills, gravel parking lot and vault toilets. It is an estimated 1/2-day canoe trip to Two Rivers, or a full day trip to Louisville State Recreation Area.

Platte River Mileage

  • Platte River Landing to Two Rivers State Rec. Area – 7 River Miles
  • Platte River Landing to Louisville State Rec. Area – 27 River Miles

D) Graske Crossing

Graske Crossing is located near West Dodge Rd. This area is about a two-hour float trip from the site at Waterloo. Land for this project was donated to the Papio NRD by the G & G Manufacturing Company, owned by the Graske family. It also features canoe launching and landing, parking, picnicking and restrooms.

Opening of W. Maple Rd. park
Elkhorn Crossing Recreation Area

Elkhorn River Mileage

  • Elkhorn Crossing to West Maple Rd. – 9 River Miles
  • West Maple Rd. to Graske Crossing – 2.5 River Miles
  • Graske Crossing to Louisville State Rec. Area (Platte River) – 19.5 River Miles

Papio NRD River Access Parks

  • Open 6 a.m. to 10p.m.
  • Closed for winter Nov. 1 through April 1.
  • Permits for special use may be granted by the Papio NRD.

Rules and Regulations for all NRD Recreation Areas

For more information contact:

Chuck Wiegand, Lead Land Steward, at cwiegand@papionrd.org 402-681-5913

Bill Warren, Operations and Maintenance/Parks Superintendent, at bwarren@papionrd.org

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