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Wildcat Hills Hiking Trails


category : Trails
Wildcat Hills Hiking Trails Hiking is a popular year-round activity at Wildcat. More than three miles of nature trails wind through the canyons and rocky bluffs, with four main trailheads and foot bridges on three trails. The primary trail is located below the large shelterhouse and is accessible to hikers of all ages and abilities. However, some of the side trails have steep grades. Lowlanders should bear in mind that elevations in the Hills" approach 5,000 feet in some areas and the altitude can affect breathing and stamina. Foot bridges, a rain shelter add to the hiker's enjoyment. The interior access roads and park benches along the way of the foot trails provide excellent opportunities for crosscountry skiing when snow conditions are right.

Cross-Country Skiing - Pine-studded buttes and bluffs provide superb skiing opportunities for all abilities. Picnic shelters make excellent sites for a lunch break or rest stop. The fenced 385-acre wildlife reserve next to the rec area is closed, although the perimeter road makes excellent skiing for both novice and advanced skiers. A mix of open grassland and evergreen trees provide a picturesque setting that appeals to winter and wildlife photography buffs. Buffalo and elk roam the enclosure with sightings of wild turkey quite common. Bobcats are more secretive but may be spotted on rare occasions.

There is no water available so skiers should take along enough for their trip.

Wildlife and Flora - Whatever the time of year, visitors will find a variety of wildlife, including both mule deer and whitetails. Much of the recreation area is covered by stands of mountain mahogany (Cercocazpus), found only rarely in the Wildcats or the Pine Ridge in northwestern Nebraska. Mountain mahogany's flowers lack petals, but the plant's characteristic feathery plumes create a blooming effect in late spring, especially in the slanting light of early morning or late afternoon. Other prominent plants include yucca, cedar, currant, a variety of spring wildflowers and poison ivy.


Admission: Park Permit Required
Hours: Open Year Round
Address: 10 mi. S of Gering on Hwy. 71
Phone: 308-436-3777
Fax: 308-436-3494
Our Email: wch@ngpc.state.ne.us

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