Sleep Somewhere But NOT HERE: Bridgeport State Recreation Area NE
You can count on Muddy Boots to come up with directives on optimal campgrounds, but how about some that belong on a veto list? Perhaps the campground has the host from hell? Is grossly overpriced for the amenities, or simply out of reach for limited-budgeters? Ummm…stinks? Bridgeport State Recreation Area in western Nebraska has a campground you want to avoid.
So much potential, but VERY scary…
Muddy Boots personal experience at
Bridgeport State Recreation Area NE
By reputation, this is a promising place to stay. Sandy-bottom lakes pooled by the North Platte River, boating and fishing, plenty of shade. Sounds great!
Finding this park is not too difficult, either. It’s almost right in town, on the northern edge of Bridgeport NE, which is a pretty small place, so there’s not much chance of getting lost without realizing you’re lost.
The approach road is lined with small houses, and soon you are facing a sign detailing the campground regulations. The fact that the sign is peeling and falling apart should be a warning.
Camping is “dispersed” and “primitive” here, and a drive around will show sites crowded along the shores of the little lakes, heavily trodden, very dusty.
The park has obviously been very popular, but has had no significant upkeep for some time. There is trash here and there, trash piled in dumpsters, microtrash and cigarette butts everywhere.
There is no campground host in evidence, and the pit latrines (not the “vault” toilets advertised) evidently haven’t been attended to on a regular basis. Aroma of potties past pervades the campground.
And then…..you’re seated at your picnic table, cooking something tasty—as these things go—on your Coleman, getting to the serious stage of relaxing, when a pickup with messed-up muffler and spewing clouds of dust zooms along the campground road and stops. Right at your spot. So the driver can stare. And then move on. Until a second pickup comes along and repeats the exercise. And then the first back again. 20 times in an evening. Very high creep factor.
The fact that the alcohol limit of 1 gallon per site, no kegs, is listed right on the scruffy entrance sign should have been a huge tip off. Ho, ho, ho! Plainly, there must be problems with loud parties and heavy drinking. A gallon of beer per party might be one thing, but a gallon of whiskey?
By the time you realize this campground might not be the best choice in the universe for a law abiding and opinionated limited-budgeter, it’s dark anyway, and you’ve been traveling all day, and you’re half asleep. Bad idea to drive. So you might as well nod off with one eye open for safety’s sake. Ahh, but no.
Have you ever seen a freight train in Nebraska? They go on for miles. Heard one? They make a racket and don’t quit: they squeal and clang; the cars bang into each other and shunt and whistle, coal, cattle, farm stuff, and whatever else. Muddy Boots is sure a limited-budgeter can get used to an occasional train, but Bridgeport State Recreation Area is between two sets of tracks: they’ve got you coming and going. And they never let up.
Muddy Boots says: “give this one a pass….” But..
Put that all behind you and check out the spectacular sights along the historic Oregon Trail right here in this area of Nebraska. They’re not to be missed: Ruts: Make Your Day On Nebraska’s Oregon Trail.
You gotta see it!
Photo credits for Bridgeport State Recreation Area NE. Map, featured image and top: Google Maps. Second photo: Motorhome at Bridgeport NE: Copyright uncertain, but reproduced here with link to published site; gratitude from Muddy Boots to the unknown photographer. First train: CC BY-ND 2.0 by R Levans. Second train: CC BY 2.0 by David Wilson. Third photo: outdoornebraska.gov.Also refer to: Visit Nebraska. Bottom, Chimney Rock – HDR: CC BY 2.0 by Larry Jacobsen via Flickr.