Winter Wonders at the Niobrara National Scenic River
Niobrara National Scenic River is known in Nebraska for being the place to canoe, kayak, or go tubing. The river is 76 miles long, so there is plenty of space for visitors!
You don’t have to bring your own gear with you to the river. Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes from local businesses and then take a shuttle bus to the river.
I recently visited the river’s headquarters with my family. The headquarters is in Valentine, Nebraska. Because December is a cold month for Nebraska, we stayed indoors. But there was plenty to do at the headquarters! We visited for their annual EPIC Creations of Nature Craft Day. The friendly staff helped my sister and I make holiday crafts. Our creations made perfect Christmas gifts for our parents and grandparents.
While I was at the headquarters, I learned more about the Niobrara River. It has more than 200 waterfalls! Visitors can also see four layers of rocks at different places along the river. These are the Ash Hollow formation, the Valentine formation, the Rosebud formation, and Pierre Shale. The waterfalls and rocks are just a few of the reasons the Niobrara has been designated as a National Scenic River. That’s a special honor because less than 1/4th of one percent of U.S. Rivers qualifies for this! To learn more about scenic rivers, or the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act that protects these rivers visit: https://www.rivers.gov/index.php.
I can’t wait to return to Valentine next summer to go tubing on the Niobrara River with my family!
To start planning your visit, go here: https://www.nps.gov/niob/index.htm