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Sand Hills, Nebraska

Gentle rivers meander along pine-studded canyons, towering waterfalls and a veritable ocean of prairie grasses alongside America's largest man-made forest, a wildlife refuge of gigantic proportions and cattle ranches that are better comprehended from the air than the ground. It's a wide-open landscape. A landscape that inspired Mari Sandoz to produce some of this country's finest fiction. A landscape you'll enjoy exploring by car or canoe.


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Cowboy Trail

By the late 1800s, the United States saw railroad tracks stretched, like a giant web, across its entirety, carrying cargo and travelers towards settlement in the West. Long silenced, abandoned, and almost forgotten, a hundred years later the rails are beginning to see travelers once again. They'

Ainsworth, NE Recreation

Keller Park Picnicking/Hiking

Picnic facilities are available for day use, while there is a large picnic shelter for family gatherings and other group get-together. Hikers, too, will enjoy this exceptional area, as they meander through the grasslands and canyons. There'

, NE Hiking

Nebraska National Forest

The Nebraska National Forest, located one mile west of Halsey and twenty minutes from Thedford along Highway 2 offers some of the most fabulous scenery in the state. It's been called a forest planted in the desert -- a ponderosa pine wilderness in the middle of the sandhills.

It'

Thedford, NE National Forests

Post Office Mural - NHR

The former Valentine United States Post Office, constructed in 1936-37, is a one-story, brick and limestone Modernistic style building. While the building retains a high degree of integrity, its national historical significance derives

Valentine, NE National Register

Thomas County Courthouse

Following the establishment of Thomas County, Thedford became the county seat in 1887, and a courthouse was built two years later. The courthouse served the county well until it was destroyed in a fire in 1920. After some delays a special election was held in 1923

Thedford, NE Historic Courthouses

Bessey Nursery

Located near Halsey, the Bessey Nursery, as originally established, comprised fifteen acres of land south of the Middle Loup River and included a two-story headquarters building, mess hall, barn, and shop building. The nursery was created in 1903

Thedford, NE National Register

Thedford Art Gallery

This major attraction is a surprising discovery for many visitors ... even more so when they learn that it is owned and totally supported by a small art group ... the Thedford Art Guild. It is an inspiration for fellow artists and travelers alike, and a warm welcome is extended to all!

Thedford, NE Arts

Coleman House Museum

The Coleman House contains clothing, furniture, memorabilia, a genealogical file,

Ainsworth, NE Museums

Merritt Fishing

Merritt Reservoir offers some of Nebraska's premiere fishing. It is a deep lake with excellent inflow from the Snake River and Boardman Creek, Consequently, the reservoir is well-insulated against excessive drawdown

, NE Fishing

Cherry County Courthouse - NHR

Although Cherry County is the largest county (in square miles) in Nebraska, early settlement did not occur until the late 1870s. By the early 1880s, however, settlement began to increase spurred on, in part, by the construction of the railroad. In 1883

Valentine, NE National Register

Scott Lookout Tower

You can see the trees and beautiful sand hills countryside for miles when you climb to the top of the Scott Lookout Tower. Visitors may view the sandhills scenery and tree plantations as well as learn about forest fire spotting techniques. The stairway to the observation deck is steep;

Thedford, NE

Keller Park Camping

An ideal get-away-from-it-all spot for campers, as well, camping enthusiasts

, NE Camping

Explore Sand Hills