Big Springs has two parks, a modern swimming pool and a nine-hole sand-greens golf course. Facilities at the city park include a sheltered picnic area with tables, playground equipment, two hard-surfaced tennis and basketball courts with fencing, and two sand volleyball courts. The historic Union Pacific depot is next door. Moved from its original site, the depot has been converted into a museum where one can glimpse into the past and relive the exciting days of early Big Springs.
Close by you will find the Big Springs public library with over 4,800 juvenile and 3,300 adult books plus many classic videos.
Local attractions include: the Big Springs "spring" site (for which the town was named), the Big Springs Veteran's Memorial, the Big Springs Youth Recreation Pond, the restored Phelps Hotel Bed & Breakfast, and the Waterman Sod House, (nine miles north of Big Springs on Day road). This well-preserved sod house was lived in by the Waterman family until the late 1980s. A few miles east on Highway 30, you will see the marker for California Hill. Pioneers on the Oregon Trail crossed the South Platte river a short distance to the south before climbing this steep hill and starting the trek to Ash Hollow. The trail winds its way across the table land toward Lewellen where the wagons were lowered down the cliffs by ropes when they reached Windlass Hill.
While in this historic area you will want to visit Ash Hollow State Park and Museum. Other attractions are the sod house and covered wagon at Windlass Hill, an old restored stone school house and the original site of an early day trading post.
The proposed National Trails Museum, to be built near the California crossing between Big Springs and Brule is sure to be a top priority to visit while in the community. Replicas of the original Diamond Springs Pony Express station and the Beauvais Road Ranche trading post, (linked to the museum by a rail line), are in future plans for this interesting site.
In the past several years much interest has been shown in retracing the route of Highway 30 or the Lincoln Highway, as it was popularly known. This famous road was the first intercontinental route built across the United States during the early 1900s when the automobile was rising into popular use. The original Highway 30 entered Big Springs from the east near the present high school football field. A number of filling stations, cafes and hotels and other accommodations were located along this route through town. In the 1930s the road was relocated 2 miles north of town.
Kingsley Dam and Lake McConaughy are approximately 20 miles northeast of our community. The dam is one of the largest earthen dams in the world, towering 162 feet in the air. Lake McConaughy (Big Mac) backs up into the North Platte river valley for 22 miles and is about 4 miles across at its widest point. Water from this reservoir provides irrigation for a potential 255,000 acres of farmland in central Nebraska. A hydroelectric plant is located just below the dam and is used to generate power. An abundance of walleye, pike, crappie, perch, bass and trout make Big Mac a "fisherman's paradise." Boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, hunting and a multitude of other sports make this area an ideal place for tourists and sports enthusiasts!
To visitors, we extend a hearty western Nebraska greeting! You are sure to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of our friendly town. Those who can spend some time, you will find very adequate lodging facilities at the Motel 6 at Exit 107 or the historic, newly restored Phelps Hotel in town. A short distance south of the I-80 exit you will find the McGreer Camper Park, fully equipped with restrooms, electrical/water connections and a waste facility. In addition, the surrounding area offers horse & people boarding at HQH Motel & Camp and boarding, plus bed and breakfast services at the Cowboy Bunkhouse.
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