Sometimes, you find the best things where you may least expect them. In the middle of the Great Plains, amid the waving golden prairie grasses of the Nebraska Sandhills, winds the Niobrara National Scenic River. An oasis in a dry landscape, the sight of the river is a dramatic change.
Niobrara National Scenic River
The Niobrara River flows eastward 535 miles from the high plains of Wyoming to its confluence with the Missouri River in northeastern Nebraska. Over its course the river cuts through nearly the entire width of northern Nebraska, much of which is in the state’s scenic Sandhills region. Unlike most rivers that are fed by rainwater runoff, nearly three-quarters of the Niobrara’s flow is the result of groundwater from the vast Ogallala Aquifer.
Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters
Our quiz theme this month is apropos of February-the-Valentine- month. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you buy the quizmeister a big box of chocolates. Cream centers.
Planning to spend some time paddling at Niobrara National Scenic River this summer? Don't forget your sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat, and PFD. Oh, and leave the Mardi gras beads, dry ice, and Styrofoam cups and coolers at home.
When folks think about paddling trips in the National Park System, quite often floating the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park rises to the top of the mind. But there are other paddling treks out there, trips that are just as beautiful and inspiring and which just might offer a tad more solitude.