Niobrara RIver in Nebraska

Has anyone paddled the Niobrara River (Nebraska)within last few years? How far west to start trip, how far east? What’s best section of river for a 3+ day trip?


I don’t think you can find a trip that lasts 2 days. It is fast flowing. I went in July. We put in at Cornell Bridge by Valentine. It is in the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge. We paid $1 a canoe to put in. You fill out a card and put on a red wristband. We paddled 3 hours to Smith Falls State Park, which is where we stayed the whole trip. Make sure you put a canoe strap around your cooler if you camp there. The racoons can open coolers faster than you can. We relaxed a couple of hours and then resumed on and took out at Sunnybrook outfitters. We left a car in their lot & paid them a few dollars to land 3 canoes. Smith Falls to Sunnybrook was about 3 hours. Thus, we spent around 6 hours on it. There is not much left of the Niobrara to canoe after that. We could have spent another couple of hours to go down to the Norden Bridge but we left to beat the weekend crowds. The weekend crowds can increase the time it takes to canoe down the river. I was told by a ranger in the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge that after the Norden Bridge the water can get really low and you will be walking a lot. We used 3 Bell Wildfires for this trip. You can get information and a map by going to the Nebraska Game & Parks web site. They have a canoe trail brochure about the Niobrara and other rivers in Nebraska.

Thanks, have been to websites but didn’t get a sense of how long trip it was. We were thinking of putting in further west of Valentine, but not sure. Safe paddling,and thanks again. Tom