Recreation & Tourism
Washington County is a great place to play! Each community offers numerous parks, sports fields, and swimming pools.
The community of Blair offers trails throughout the town for walking, running and biking. River Wilds Golf course is a public 18 hole golf course which is a favorite for golfers from all over the area. The Blair Youth Sports Complex is a busy place most of the year with baseball and softball diamonds, numerous soccer fields, 4 lighted tennis courts, and a playground and picnic shelter.
Black Elk Neihardt Park in Blair is located high above the city of Blair and offers beautiful views of the community. Walking trails, Frisbee golf, picnic pavilion and mosaic works of art depicting the writings of Lakota Sioux Native Black Elk all make a visit to this park special. The park is dedicated to Black Elk and John Neihardt, and to their vision of universal love and peace.
Other parks in Blair are Lion’s Park, which is home to the Depot in the Park, and Steyer Park, where the swimming pool, a skateboard park, picnic shelters and an arboretum are located.
The Blair Family YMCA offers opportunities for all ages. The Blair YMCA has a 6 lane lap swimming pool, aerobic studio, weight room, and a full gymnasium. The YMCA offers numerous fitness, swim lessons, adult sports, children’s sports, childcare, and Active Older Adult programs.
The Blair Optimist boat ramp on the Missouri River offers pleasure boaters and fisherman alike a free access ramp to the river. Boaters come from all over the area to access the river at this point, just below the Blair Bridge over the Missouri River.
Five minutes east of Blair along U.S. HWY 30 is DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge which contains 8,365 acres of floodplain habitat on a former oxbow (DeSoto Bend) of the Missouri River. Each year, hundreds of thousands of migrating birds use DeSoto refuge as a stepping stone while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes.
The refuge welcomes 120,000 – 200,000 visitors each year who enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities including wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education programs, fishing and hunting. DeSoto’s visitor center is also the home of the Steamboat Bertrand Museum Collection, one of the premier assemblages of Civil War era artifacts in the United States. Viewing galleries overlook DeSoto Lake and offer spectacular views of the migratory birds that stop over each year in the spring and fall.
DeSoto's sister refuge, the 4,040 acre Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, is located 12 minutes south of Blair along U.S. HWY 75 near Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska. Boyer Chute contains wildlife and habitats similar to those found at DeSoto NWR.
Fort Calhoun is the home of Fort Atkinson. The fort was the most westerly military post in the years between 1820-1827. The old military fort hosts Living History Days the first weekend of each month from May until October each year. Re-enactors show those in attendance what is was like in the 1800’s to live on the military post.
A life size bronze statue depicting the first Council between Lewis and Clark, and members of the Oto and Missouria Native American tribes, was dedicated during the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 2004. This is must see for history buffs.
The Washington County Museum and Frahm House are located in Fort Calhoun. The museum offers tours and informative talks about the history of Washington County.
Fort Calhoun is also home to Boyer Chute Wildlife Refuge.
The Arlington swimming pool is a great place to spend the day during the summer. The Two Rivers Banks Sports Complex is a home to most of the sporting activities for Arlington youth.
The Washington County Fairgrounds is home to tractor pulls, community events, and the Annual Washington County Fair and is located in Arlington.
LODGING AND CAMPGROUNDS
Rodeway Inn (Choice Hotels) 1355 S. Hwy. 30 402-426-2340
Super 8 558 S. 13th St. 402-426-8888
Bed and Breakfast
Bakers Bed and Breakfast 2106 Grant St. 402-426-8909
Hardy RV Park 19th & Nebraska St. 402-426-4191
River View Park & Resort 10022 Riverside Lane 402-577-1049
The Cottonwood Cove Marina 10270 Riverside Lane 402-426-1900
Discover Northeast Nebraska:
Washington County Visitors Guide:
Nebraska Metro Birding: