Bow Creek

The Bow Creek Recreation Area is a must for any avid outdoor enthusiast. Managed by the National Park Service, Bow Creek boasts an impressive array of leisure opportunities for all visitors. In the restored prairie, visitors can look for dragonflies and butterflies. In the cottonwood and oak forests, guests can watch for signs of wildlife including the resident whitetail deer and turkey. Past visitors have expressed their love of Bow Creek due to the trails available for hiking as well the fun to be had in fishing on the nearby lake.

History of Bow Creek

The tributary of Bow Creek was named after the Maha Native American, Petit Arc. The name, given by French traders, means Little Bow. Petit Arc founded a nearby town after a disagreement with Chief Black Bird that split the tribe apart until Petit Arc’s death.

Lewis and Clark visited this area of the river in 1804, setting up camp directly across from the mouth of Bow Creek. Since the river meanders, the site is about a mile further north of where Bow Creek now resides, on the Nebraska side.

Contact Information

National Park Service: Missouri National Recreational River
Reservations and Information:

Wynot, Nebraska 68792, United States

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Other Information

  • Hours Open

    Bow Creek's Visitor Center Sun: Closed Mon: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Tue: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Wed: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Thu: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Fri: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Sat: Closed
  • Seasons Open

    Year-round; Closed on New Year's Day, Fourth of July and Christmas
  • Eco Friendly Notes

    Being a mix of wetlands, grasslands and forest, Bow Creek is rich in opportunities for a visitor's experience.