Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari | Midwest Living

Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari

16406 292nd Street
Ashland  Nebraska  68003
United States
(402) 944-9453
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    - Kelsey Schirm
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    - Kelsey Schirm
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    - Kelsey Schirm
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    - Kelsey Schirm
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    - Kelsey Schirm
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    - Lisa Meyers McClintick
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    - Lisa Meyers McClintick
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Midwest Living Review

Karen Schirm
This safari gets visitors close to impressive North American wildlife.

The wildlife safari, operated by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, lets you get up close and personal with a wide range of North American creatures. The 4-mile drive and optional hike also provide great views of the Nebraska prairie landscape. It's best to arrive early, not only to beat the crowds, but also because the animals are active early in the day. We started our safari around 9:30 a.m. and were able to see 30 impressive large elk bulls walking around and bugling (making a loud mating call). They walked right by our vehicle! Two hours later, when we were on our way out, we spotted them again, but they were sitting in the shade quietly. The deer were easy to find, and there were several impressive bucks. A small buck was eating right beside the road and didn't move at all when we stopped beside him. About halfway through the drive, there's an opportunity to park and hike to Wolf Canyon Overlook to see the wolf pack and bears. The wolves are hard to find, but we had two eagle-eyed hunters in our group, and they spotted a few of them laying down in the brush. The wolves were much larger than we expected. We also saw one black bear. The bison herd is quite large, but there wasn't much movement when we went through. We only saw one pronghorn antelope. At the end of the drive, there are cages of small animals such as a bobcat and a porcupine, and an aviary with a hawk and a bald eagle. There's also a playground and a visitors center that has aquariums of snakes, turtles and frogs. You can get refreshments at the visitors center and, of course, there are many souvenirs for sale. There are restrooms inside and outside the visitors center. You can also walk a short distance from the visitors center to a platform to view the elk. This wildlife park is located halfway between Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, just off Interstate 80 and is open April-October, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors and $4.50 for children.

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