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.
Explore Sand Hills
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
In 1991, the village of Johnstown was the site of filming for the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "O Pioneers!" Viewing the old fashioned main street with board sidewalk is a trip down memory lane with a unique "Old West" appearance.
Johnstown was established in 1882Ainsworth, NE Historic Towns
One of the world's unique geological areas,k the 19,000-square-mile Sandhills in north-central Nebraska is a vast region of sand dunes blown in by winds about 8,000 years ago. The nearby unchartable maze of grass-covered dunes scared away early pioneers.
Valentine, NE Wildlife Refuges
Recognized among the 10 top canoeing rivers in the nation by Backpacker magazine, the Niobrara River flows leisurely through steep sandstone canyons. Nebraskans also rank the river, designated a National Scenic River by Congress in 1991, in the top 10 favorite tourists stops in the state.< Ainsworth, NE Recreation
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