Welcome to Halsey, Nebraska!

Halsey, Nebraska, located in both Blaine and Thomas Counties, is a village of approximately 80 people. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad laid track through the area in 1887. A railroad depot located here enabled ranchers to bring in their livestock for shipment to larger cities for sale. A blacksmith shop, saloon, hotel and grocery store once populated the village. The Shady Nook Hotel was a big entertainment draw for the community members as it had a player piano! The Shady Nook Hotel's top story now houses the town's Double T Steakhouse and Lounge.

If you are looking for a soft bed instead of camping at the nearby forest, lodging in Halsey can be found at Belle's Bunkhouse and Campground or at the Halsey Frontier Motel.

There are many community activities taking place over the year. Join the community in celebrating Sandhills Days in July, A fourth of July celebration; an annual pancake feed put on by the Halsey Rural Fire District Volunteers in August is a big draw as is the Loup to Loup Road Race also held in August.

The Loup to Loup Road Race is held the first part of August each year. It is a shorter version of the Sandhills Open Road Challenge which starts in Arnold, Nebraska and runs up the Dunning road along side the Devil's Den canyon to Nebraska Highway 2. The Loup to Loup race starts in Halsey, Nebraska and ends in Purdum, Nebraska. Click here for the Loup to Loup race map.

You want to plant a forest where?

Halsey, Nebraska is best known for the 20,000 acres of hand-planted forest west of town. At the forest there are 36 campsite units with picnic tables, firegrates, nearby water and toilets and trash dumpsters are available.

In 1890, Professor Charles E. Bessey, a professor of botany at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, proposed hand-planting a forest in the sandhills of western Nebraska. Originally called the Dismal River Forest Reserve, that forest, along with the North Platte forest near the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska and the Niobrara Forest in North Central Nebraska, were declared the Nebraska National Forest by President Theodore Roosevelt.

An educational video about the forest is available here.

Today the Charles E. Bessey Tree Nursery, established in 1902, is the oldest Federal tree nursery. With its sandy soil and ample water supply, the nursery produces 2.5 million seedlings and is the seed bank for the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. It is also part of the Nebraska Conservation Trees Program which provides trees to farmers and ranchers throughout the plains. The Clark-McNary Act of 1924 ensures that the nursery makes the trees available at little or no cost to farmers and ranchers. Fire lanes were introduced into the forest to help alleviate prairie fires from becoming forest fires. The fire lanes are approximately one mile wide and are available to ranchers for cattle grazing for a fee. Good land management keeps these grazed areas from becoming sand blowholes.

Belle’s Bunkhouse and Campground

202 Main St. Halsey, Nebraska (308) 539-1462

Shaded campground, restroom, shower and laundry

Seven full hook-ups; electricity, water and sewer

Primitive/tent camping

Open Year Around

Two bedroom, two bath bunkhouse available to rent

Current Weather

Proud Supporter of the

 

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