Photo by Bernard Friel/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Experience the Wild West at William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's Famous Mansion


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Who is William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody?

Beautifully Illustrated Antique Engraved Victorian Illustration of Portrait of American Trapper William Cody (Buffalo Bill) Engraving, 1859 by bauhaus1000 via Getty Images

Born in Iowa on February 26, 1846, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his family moved to Kansas as some of the area's first colonial settlers. After his time in the Union Army during the Civil War, Cody got his nickname "Buffalo Bill" when he supplied buffalo meat to the Kansas Pacific Railway.

During the mid-1880s, the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show had taken ahold of the nation and Europe, touring with the famed showman and his crew. The show's success allowed Cody to build what locals called his "Mansion on the Prairie." The second Empire-style home was constructed after and became the most prominent house in the North Platte region.

In 1887, Buffalo Bill built the huge barn to keep his collection of horses and stallions. Located in Lincoln County, the Nebraska State Park "Buffalo Bill" attractions include the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area and the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area

View across the rugged undulating rugged landscape of Buffalo Bill State park showing the rocky mountains and isolated ranch near Cody, Wyoming, USA by Danielrao via Getty Images

The Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area is next to the State Historical Park. It offers hiking trails, camping, and other recreational and educational opportunities. This North Platte historic site presents 5 miles of trails, many riverside picnic tables, fishing in the North Platte River, an archery range, and seasonal horseback riding and Platte River float trips.

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A great way to spend a few days discovering the region, campers can choose from 23 camping pads with different-sized amp-hookups. There are also basic campsites without electricity. Camping at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area is first-come, first-serve with an on-site registration "iron ranger" box.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

View across the rugged undulating landscape of Buffalo Bill State park showing the rocky mountains and agriculture in the foreground near Cody, Wyoming, USA by Danielrao via Getty Images

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When you visit the Buffalo Bill sites, you can tour the ranch hour and barn, check out the historical museum and see incredible William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody memorabilia from his past and famous Wild West Show. The 4,000-acre Scout's Rest Ranch is a beautiful way to see the living history of the Pony Express Rider with your family and friends. The ranch was initially acquired in 1878 with a first purchase of 160 acres just south of the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Important Information for Visiting

The house, barn, and other outbuildings are open April 7 - May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend): Open Wednesday - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., May 31 - September 6 (Labor Day): Open daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and September 7 - October 31: Open Wednesday - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The park grounds are open from 8 a.m. - sunset, year-round.

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The park fees are $2 for adults 13 and up, $1 for children 3 to 12, and free for those 3 and under. To rent the barn, it is $500, and the wedding rental fee is $300. A valid Park Entry Permit is required.

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