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Nebraska Hiking Trails

This site is designed to provide quick access to informative Nebraska hiking and backpacking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have posted excellent pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.

  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument This off-the-beaten-path unit of the National Park Service has two short hiking trails. Whether or not you are interested in the fossils, these trails are a great way to see the magnificent rolling prairies of NW Nebraska. Don't expect much from this website -- typical NPS minimal information -- but this is really a fascinating area to visit.


  • American Discovery Trail Nebraska page. Detailed trail descriptions, affiliated trails, etc. "Official" site.


  • Chimney Rock good info and photos, well done page on the wyonebtourism site.


  • Chimney Rock page from Nebraska State Historical Society. Well done...click around. Lots of info, historical stuff, measurements, photos.


  • Cowboy Trail Thanks to some thoughtful folks at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, this link now goes to the official State of Nebraska webpage. If you haven't heard, the Cowboy Trail is one of the longest rail-to-trail projects in the USA. It's a great recreation route for hikers, the horsey set, and those two-wheeled things. Currently includes a 34-mile segment from Norfolk to Neligh, 21 miles from Ewing to O'Neill, and a five-mile stretch at Valentine that crosses over the Niobrara River on a 148-foot high bridge, and a few more trails here and there. It's a trail-in-progress you'll be hearing a lot more of. Informative site.


  • General -- Nebraska Hiking by Bruce Wayne Joyner...anybody know where this site is, please e-mail rick@slackpacker.com.


  • General Nebraska Trails Council serves as a collective voice for these groups and trail enthusiasts throughout Nebraska. Site features photos, links, membership information, mission statement, etc. Average org site.


  • General Nebraska Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association, promoting and celebrating the emigrant trails of the 19th century. Site is chock full of information on locations, history, trail points, maps, etc.


  • General Website about Nebraska Stations along the pony express route. This is really cool stuff. Hey, let's face it, most of Nebraska is, uh, flat. FLAT! Now, I love Nebraska; particularly western Nebraska around Gering, but sometimes I'm bored to tears making that loooonng drive across along the Platte. This sort of thing makes it much more interesting, and lots of ideas for places to hike. It's just a darn cool website.


  • General - Panhandle Region Toadstool Park, Agate Fossil Beds, Chadron, Wildcat Hills, Scottsbluff...all covered on the PanhandleTrails.com website by Thomas Scheimo. Panhandle Trails is a non-profit website, done on an all-volunteer basis, to promote responsible hiking and mountain biking on the trails in Nebraska's Panhandle region. New website at this time (May 2007) and growing.


  • Lincoln Area The Great Plains Trails Network is a group of citizens who advocate and support a network of trails in and around Lancaster County, Nebraska, for jogging, biking, walking and horseback riding. Site includes descriptions, maps & photos for about a dozen trails.


  • Oak Creek Trail Stretches of natural prairie, majestic oak woodlands and breathtaking highland vistas make the 12 miles from Valparaiso to Brainard called the Oak Creek Trail one of Nebraska's most versatile recreational trails.


  • Panorama Point Highest point in NE; can be a hike...page has plenty of information.


  • Steamboat Trace Hiking/Biking Trail is a Burlington Northern line purchased by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; 21 miles from south of Brownville, Nebraska to south of Nebraska City, Nebraska. "Official" site with entry points and a couple of photos.


  • Steamboat Trace nice page with photos, map, description, not a five star webpage but does the job nicely, on the LewisandClark.com site, which is generally a five star site of course.


Wildcat Hills

My absolute favorite place in the midwest is Wildcat Hills, just south of Scottsbluff. It reminds me of a greyish version of Sedona, and without the weirdos.

Wildcat Hills is one of many places mentioned in Nebraska Off the Beaten Path by Hannah McNally, which I heartily recommend. I never realized how big Nebraska is, and I can tell you that without some guidance, you'll be lost. I'd also recommend this for Omahaians (Omahonians? Omahararians? Omahanites?) whatever. Anyway, it's a great guide for the daytripper and slacker. The other book I like is Wild Towns of Nebraska by Wayne C. Lee. This is a unique blend of history and travel guide of sorts...and some of the stories will make your hair stand on end.

Since we all need to get in touch with our feminine side, another tome that bears interest for Nebraskan and visitor alike is Mary Hurlbut Cordier's Schoolwomen of the Prairies and Plains: Personal Narratives from Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, 1860S-1920s. These school teachers tell stories of discovery, wonder, fear, heartbreak, frustration, loss, and every emotion in between. A must-read for school teachers. I realize this is a little off the topic, but I just like this book.

-- Rick Bolger

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