Black Elk-Neihardt Park

Black Elk-Neihardt Park was established in 1975. The park, which overlooks Blair and the Missouri River valley, is the highest point in Blair. The Tower of the Four Winds, designed by Dana College professor F.W. Thomsen, is the focal point of the park. As John G. Neihardt brought Black Elk’s vision to life in literature, Bill Thomsen brought the vision to life in art.

Several trails crisscross the 80 acres of rolling hills. They include a paved trail with pedestal mosaics by Prof. Thomsen depicting Native-American descriptions of north, south, east and west; a wood chip trail; and the Black Elk Nature Trail, which begins at Hansen Drive on the Dana College campus and ends at the park. Native and other trees, grasses, and wildlife come together to form a peaceful Nebraska setting.

Other recreational opportunities include a picnic shelter (with an open fire pit, a grill, seating capacity of 50, water, an electric outlet and restrooms), freestanding picnic tables, bench swings, a playground at the north end of the park with a nearby grill and picnic table, and a disc golf course (see “Other Recreational Facilities/Disc Golf” below).

The Black Elk-Neihardt Commission was instrumental in planning, funding, and implementing this park. It is part of the Blair Community Arboretum and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.