“the site of at least four distinct cultures spanning over 1,500 years”
Ash Hollow State Historical Park is located near Lewellen, Nebraska. The park comprises two attractions located 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from each other: Ash Hollow Cave and Windlass Hill. A spring in the vicinity of Ash Hollow Cave made it an attractive site for human habitation. At least four distinct cultures spanning over 1,500 years have been revealed in archaeological explorations of Ash Hollow Cave. These include the Apache from A.D. 1675-1725; the Central Plains Tradition from A.D. 900-1450; theWoodland Tradition from A.D. 0-1100; and the Late Archaic Tradition from 1000 B.C.-A.D. 500. The cave was apparently used as a base camp for hunting and food collecting. The site became a Nebraska state park in 1962. Ash Hollow Cave was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and the surrounding area was named the Ash Hollow Historic District in 1975. In 1978, a visitor center was built overlooking the canyon.
I found this fascinating! You can still see the ruts in places. The kids and I listened to some podcasts about the Oregon Trail on the way. Made the drive through Nebraska more tolerable. Ha! This is not at the main site with the visitors center it’s about 2 mile east of it at an entrance on the south side of the road.
Take the second turn - the first turn marked Ash Hollow is part of it and has a sod house. The second turn gets you up to a ridge with an old school house to the right ans the visitor center to the left. The Visitor Center has a small museum (small fee unless you have a NE State Park pass). There is a small exhibit (a bit dated) and a 15 minute video. The museum also has public bathrooms. Trails from the visitor center down to a cave and a pond. The Dogs allowed. Our dog took a quick sip, it was hot.
A nice stop. We enjoyed the sites, had a picnic, played with our dog and a bathroom break before getting back on the road. We spent a little over 2 hours here.
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Ash Hollow State Historical Site
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