Parks & Recreation


Aubles at Night, Photo by Tim O’Brien

Ord boasts four beautiful city parks, direct access to four lakes, four rivers and a wide variety of activities for adults and youth alike.  You’ll find Ord to be an outdoor paradise with water sports, hunting, fishing, golfing, disc golfing, canoeing, tanking, bird watching and lots more.  On this page you’ll find information about all endeavors of a recreational variety, and the parks in which you can do them in.  If you’re interested in our area activities and events, check out our Play page.  There you’ll find the area events and activities and how to get connected.

  1. Local Parks
    • Aubles Pond
      Aubles Pond and Nature Trail is a great place for families to relax and enjoy time together. You’ll find a two mile nature trail, trout fishing and covered shelters for picnics and family get-togethers. Anglers will need a fishing permit and it is required for adults catch-and-release only. Aubles Pond also has Nebraska’s second tallest flag pole and a dedicated memorial to local veterans. Be sure to catch Aubles Pond during the winter. It’s a quiet, serene winter wonderland when you find yourself alone on the trail.
    • Anderson Island
      Anderson Island is located directly east of Ord on highway 70, on the southeastern edge of the North Loup River. Anderson Island provides access for swimming, canoeing, tubing or relaxing on a sand-bottom river. You can find Anderson Island on a map here. Easily one of the most underrated places to relax in the area. If you have questions about Anderson Island, call the City of Ord at (308) 728-7779.
    • Bussell Park
      Bussell Park is a wooded, serene city park with a variety of amenities for anyone interested in a respite from the hectic pace of life. You can find three separate and updated playgrounds for children, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball fields, sand volleyball courts, camper/RV hook-ups, a 9-hole municipal golf course, a 9-hole disc golf course, a public swimming pool, Aubles Fishing Pond and the Aubles Pond Nature Trail. Bussell Park also has full-service restrooms, water and electricity. Fifteen Camper pads are available for RVs and motor homes and are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact the Ord City Offices for more information at (308) 728-5791.
    • Kindergarten Park
      Kindergarten Park is a park perfect for children. Here you’ll find a skatepark, playground equipment and basketball courts.
    • Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park
      Fort Hartsuff is found 10 miles Northeast of Ord (outside of Elyria). Fort Hartsuff is a one of America’s only fully restored 1870 plains infantry post. Active during the Plains Indian Wars, Fort Hartsuff served as a vital piece of American Manifest Destiny. A visitors center is open year-round. You can find Fort Hartsuff on a map here. Fort Hartsuff can be found online here or by calling (308) 346-4715. Read up more on Fort Hartsuff at the Nebraska State Historical Society here.
  2. Recreation
    • Ord Golf Club (website)
      Built in 1915, the Ord Golf Club is a 9-hole municipal golf course that has seen many changes through the years. Originally sand greens, this 2379 yard par 33/36 city park course hosted the 1959 Men’s and 1962 Ladies’ Nebraska State Sand Greens Tournaments. The course was upgraded to grass in 1964. The course has retained many of the original features; large mature trees, elevation changes, with Dane Creek winding through and along five holes for a shot-makers course. The addition of a pond for irrigation gives the player water to negotiate on eight of nine holes.This course offers the skilled player a true test of shot-making ability, along with the perfect distance for the senior or average golfer to test his or her skills in a beautiful park atmosphere. The Ord Golf Club is a perfect location for corporate, family, or group outings. The Ord Golf Club is owned by the City of Ord. While the course remains open year round, weather permitting the Clubhouse is open from March 1st through December 24th with exceptions made for private parties and meetings.
    • Ord Public Swimming Pool
      The Ord Swimming Pool is a city-owned pool open to the public. The Ord Pool is open the end of May to mid-August.  Hours of operation are 1p-5p and 6:30-8:30p Monday through Saturday. For more information about the pool, contact the Ord City Offices at (308) 728-7875.
    • Ord Township Library (website)
      Ord Township Library is a full-service library that provides free access to WIFI and computer labs, a genealogy department, inter-library loan services and summer programs for children. Contact the library at (308) 728-3012.
    • Valley County Museum
      The Valley County Museum and Historical Society is home to treasures and artifacts telling the story of settlement and westward expansion in the North Loup Valley.preservation of historical artifacts, archiving of documents and photographs and the display of artifacts to the public. All displays in the museum are relevant to the settling of Valley County from its inception up until the present day. Written, photographic, audio and visual treasures are available for inspection by the general public during the regular open season May through September, or by special appointment.  Contact Steffan Baker for details:  (308) 728-3044.
  1. Aquatic attractions
    • Ord is central to four lakes and four rivers. The lakes are known for their great watersports and fishing, and the local rivers are backwater treasures for canoeing, kayaking, tubing and tanking.
    • Davis Creek Reservoir (directions)
      Located 18 miles south of Ord (5 miles Davis Creek is a hidden gem in Central Nebraska.  Just 5 miles off of Nebraska Hwy 11 through North Loup, Davis Creek is open 24 hours and is a great fishing lake. Fish species include walleye, crappie, yellow perch, channel catfish, and bullhead, with an abundance of prairie wildlife round in the surrounding state wildlife management area.  The NRD has provided a picnic area that includes shelter and water. A second picnic shelter near the boat ramps was completed in 2015. The rec area includes a RV camping area and three boat ramps. Nature trails and a primitive camping area are also offered. In 2016, 42 additional camp sites were added, with electrical and water hook-ups. A coin operated shower house is now in place. Coming in this summer are two new playgrounds.  You can learn more about Davis Creek here.
    • Calamus Reservoir & State Recreation Area (website)
      The Calamus Reservoir is located 22 miles northwest of Ord and features more than 5,000 acres of water surrounding by beautiful white sand beaches. The Calamus is the second longest lake in Nebraska with fishing, boating and water sports including wind surfing and canoeing. The Calamus State Recreation Area has two modern and two primitive campgrounds. Contact the local park office at (308) 346-5666.
    • Calamus State Fish Hatchery (website)
      The Calamus State Fish Hatchery is one of five hatcheries in Nebraska’s fish production system and located directly below the Virginia Smith Dam. The Hatchery is a great half-day excursion if you’re boating or fishing at Calamus Reservoir
    • Sherman Reservoir (website)
    • Located 25 miles south of Ord, Sherman Reservoir is a large fishing and water sports lake surrounded by the Sherman Reservoir State Wildlife Management Area and offers fantastic hunting as well. Park offices can be contacted at (308) 754-0230.
    • Lake Ericson (website)
      This newly renovated lake on the Cedar River is located 25 miles northeast of Ord on Highway 70 and offers fishing, tanking and fantastic canoeing opportunities.
    • North Loup River (water trails guide)
      The North Loup River is a spring-fed, sand-bottomed river that runs through a basin that covers nearly one-fifth of Nebraska.  The North Loup flows directly east of Ord and can be accessed at Anderson Island.  The North Loup is a fantastic (and hidden) water trail for both canoeing and kayaking.
    • Calamus River (water trails guide)
      The Calamus River is a slow, meandering river right in the heart of the Sandhills. That means spring-fed, cool waters great for trout fishing as it gently approaches the Calamus Reservoir through Hannaman Bayou.
    • Cedar River (water trails guide)
      The Cedar River flows 20 miles east of Ord and is spring fed from the Ogallala aquifer. The river flows cool in mid-summer, offering a respite for tankers, tubers and canoers.  Ericson, NE is a great place to put-in to the Cedar River.  A great public access point is just west of town on the north side of the river bridge.
  1. Wildlife watching
    • Ord is situated on the eastern edge of the Nebraska Sandhills and is located close to numerous bodies of water.  That makes Ord an ideal central point for birders, wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists seeking a glimpse of the Nebraskan prairie.  Check out our wildlife watching page for details on what’s available and where to go to see nature’s bounty in the Loup Valley.
  1. Scenic road trips
    • If you’re interested in hitting the open road, the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway is a great day trip to soak in the beautiful North Loup River Valley. Learn more about the byway at Nebraska Travel and tourism here.