Fort Kearny was established as a military outpost along the Oregon Trail in 1848 to protect pioneers making the trip west, and was named for General Stephen W. Kearny. It also served as a stop for the stage coach, a pony express station, the headquarters for the Pawnee Scouts, and a supply depot/outfitter during the Indian Wars, along with providing supplies for settlers/pioneers. The post remained active until 1871 just after the railroad came to the town of Kearney. Today you can explore the recreated stockade, parade grounds and blacksmith shop. There are ample interpretive signs to educate you about the fort and its functions. Camping, fishing and other recreational facilities are available next door at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area. Begin your tour at the Visitors Center where you will pay yours fees and get brochures and info on the park. Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM daily from mid-May to Labor Day. Admission is $2 per adult and $1 for kids 3 to 12. You will also need a park permit $5 a day or $35 for a year.