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Niobrara National Scenic River traverses several hundred miles of north-central Nebraska. This is one of the most rural parts of an already rural state, so there are not a lot of towns near the river. Niobrara National Scenic Rivers headwaters are located near the small town of Valentine. The river ends far to the east, where it joins with the much larger, Missouri River. This is near the town of Niobrara, near the South Dakota border. The nearest larger city is Sioux City, IA, located almost 100 miles to the east of Niobrara.
Niobrara National Scenic River runs through the plains and prairies that this part of the country is known for, and there is plenty to do once you get here. The primary activities enjoyed here are water-based and include paddle sports, tubing, fishing, and swimming access. There are also picnic and camping opportunities.
Renting an RV along the Niobrara National Scenic River will make it easy to enjoy all the recreational activities found nearby. One of the primary things people enjoy engaging in this river is floating down it. Whether you prefer a canoe, kayak, or inner-tube, any of these are fine ways to enjoy the local countryside. Summer is the main season for visiting the river, though it can be pretty in the fall, as well, when leaf colors are at their peak.
The river runs through the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, just east of Valentine. This is a great place to spot native, local wildlife, including prairie dogs, antelope, and buffalo. Trails here traverse both grassland and wooded hills near the river. The bluffs along the waterway make for a welcome change in scenery compared to much of the flatness that comprises much of the rest of the state.
The Cowboy Trail is a rails-to-trails walking and biking path that can be accessed near Valentine. It traverses almost 200 miles across the northern portion of the state. Part of it meanders along the river, offering scenic views of it and the surrounding countryside. There is a picturesque, old, railroad bridge that is known to be a prime photography spot available along the way.
Camping with an RV isn't hard near Niobrara National Scenic River. There are many campgrounds spread along its length that offer a variety of amenities. Some are quite rustic, while others provide a wide variety of services.
Wacky West Travel Park is located in Valentine. This park offers full-hookup sites, as well as cable. Bathrooms and showers are also provided for campers. The park is located right near one of the main highways through town, so it shouldn't be hard to find. There is also a playground available for kids, and the camp is located within easy access to town.
Berry Bridge Resort/Penbrook Campground sits on the northern banks of the river, east of Valentine. Bathrooms are offered for campers, as is river access. As it makes it easy to engage in so many fun activities, many people enjoy RV camping along the Niobrara National Scenic River, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding any services you may need.
When you book an RV in Cherry County, you will find fun things to do all over the nearby region. The main Visitor's Center for the river is located near Valentine as well. Exhibits, some hands-on, discuss the animals and plants that make up the ecosystems found in this Sandhills region of the state. An informational video is offered as well, and during the busy season, there are some ranger-led programs. Niobrara National Scenic River RV camping will make it easy to access all the opportunities available in the area.
There are several waterfalls found along the Niobrara National Scenic River. Snake River Falls is located near Valentine. Picturesque views of the cascade are available. Big Cedar, Staircase, and Fort Falls all also all found nearby. Smith Falls is one of the largest in the state. There is a state park that encompasses this waterfall that offers hiking trails as well.
There are other fun activities to engage in nearby, as well. The Cherry County Historical Society Museum is also located in Valentine. It highlights the ranching and agricultural history of the local area. The museum features the culture of the people who first settled the land, including many of the local American Indian tribes. There are also fishing, elk and buffalo-viewing, and rafting tours available around the local region. Local vendors offer equipment rentals, as well. The Bryan Bridge is a popular spot where it crosses the river. A roadside marker discusses the historical importance and the construction of the bridge. Views of this structure are best seen from below.
When you've been looking for a fun place to relax, that offers many fun things to do, consider camping along the Niobrara National Scenic River. Go tubing down the river, ride a bike along a historical trail, or learn about the history of the local area at a nearby museum. Camp in an RV near Valentine and enjoy your time in northern Nebraska.