We recently visited Nebraska and Iowa, and one of the many highlights we had was a visit to the Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari in Ashland, Nebraska. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I briefly glanced at Yelp reviews and thought we’d maybe spend a couple hours there. Well, turns out, since it was our first visit, we should have allotted an entire day for the place. Also, out there is the SAC Aerospace Museum, and that could have easily been a whole day thing, too. So, basically, our trip needed to be about 4 days (or weeks!!) longer to accommodate our exploration needs. ha
The conservation park/safari was fantastic. We saw deer, elk, bison, various birds, we did a short hike to see their bears and wolves, bald eagles, pelicans, water turtles, and even pet their goats and hear their roosters crow. And let’s not forget the surprise up-close look at a free roaming red ring snake that scared the bejesus out of William. He was walking with the ranger, chatting her ear off, and the “twig” moved in the path in front of him. Eep!
As I’m looking through the pictures from our visit to the safari, I’m truly amazed at the variety of animals they have at their facility and the layout of the land is beautiful for these animals. It really is like a throwback to another era. You’re not allowed to drive over 7 mph. Animals would randomly cross the road to chase each other (the pelicans had a bit of a conga-line going on, which caused a bit of a road block). One of the bison decided he needed to cross the road to get a drink of water. Plus, the road was quite bumpy in some areas, so most cars were hardly moving. So, people were letting their kids roam inside their cars, too.
Our rental car company upgraded us at no cost to a Dodge Durango, which has a 3rd row of seats. William got his snack bag and set himself up as far away from us as he could in the back of the vehicle and proceeded to have himself a picnic back there. He was extremely happy with himself and we were finding crumbs and wrappers for days afterward.