Dominated by vast expanses of the Great Plains, the Sandhills, and flat farmlands, Nebraska is a sparsely populated state that offers hikers excellent chances to find some solitude and see lots of wildlife. With recommendations from Trails.com and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission we've highlighted five of the best hikes in the Cornhusker State - you won't be disappointed.
Indian Cave State Park
The Indian Cave State Park offers more than 22 miles of hiking trails that are open year-round and showcases the parks' wonderfully diverse flora, fauna, and wildlife. Hikers are treated to views of the unique Loess Hills formations (made of windblown soil during the end of the last ice age) along the banks of the Missouri River traversing 11 numbered trails that loop through deciduous hardwood forests.
Fort Robinson State Park
More than 100 miles of trails that vary in difficult, scenery, and length are open to hikers in Fort Robinson State Park. These hiking trails show hikers the best of the historic state park, including rocky canyons and ridges, grassy plains, and buttes that overlook Soldier Creek, White River, and their valleys.
Platte River State Park
You can hike 17 miles of designated dirt trails within Platte River State Park, a densely wooded series of hills and bluffs that look over the Platte River Valley. On these trails hikers are offered the chance to see a wide range of scenery, including ravines, drop-offs, and a natural waterfall on Stone Creek, as well as abundant wildlife like bobcats, coyotes, blue birds, turkeys, and deer.
Ponca State Park
An extensive series of trails, varying in length, terrain, and difficulty, run throughout Ponca State Park, which is one of Nebraska's most popular destinations for hikers and nature lovers. Ponca State Park offers views as far as Iowa and South Dakota from the Tri-state Overlook as well as a peaceful walk through a restored prairie made up of more than 125 native wildflower, sedges, and grasses.
Lewis and Clark Trail (NE Portion)
The Lewis and Clark Trail follows the Missouri River up Nebraska's entire eastern border before turning northwest and crossing into South Dakota. This historic trail takes hikers through the Indian Cave State Park, the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, and the Ionia Volcano area to show off the state's diverse eastern landscapes.