Visually, this is an incredibly beautiful place. And it was once a very quiet/peaceful/relatively natural one too. That’s until the geniuses at Nebraska Game & Parks decided to install an ugly, noisy, multi-station “shooting range” in this once-beautiful park. Now, most times it’s pleasant enough for visitors to want to find a little peace and quiet and enjoy some nature, you’ll be treated instead to loud volleys of gunfire echoing through the the Wildcat Hills (including nearby public land parcels Buffalo Creek and Montz Ranch).
The Nature Center was expanded at the same time as the “shooting complex” was installed, which is fortunate, since that is likely the only place you’ll see much “nature” amidst the noise. The “shooting range” is only several hundred *feet* from the Nature Center, so have fun enjoying the “natural” noise as you take in the views. Big ugly berms now block views to the south from the park road…presumably to prevent stray gunfire from hitting vehicles. Thinking of enjoying some nice peaceful camping? The prevailing winds and sound-amplifying effects of the Hills means you’ll be “enjoying” the gunfire from any of the park’s designated camping areas.
So put on some noise-canceling headphones, maybe with an app that plays some “natural” sounds, and enjoy your visit. Or keep driving and spend your tourist dollars on a place where the interests of a few (but very noisy) “shooters” don’t outweigh those of the many.