Category: Hiking Trails

Rating: Easy
Surface: Crushed Limestone
Distance: 1 way: 11.35 miles

Welcome to the Steamboat Trace Trail! An Easy and scenic Rails-to-Trails ride along the Missouri River. This is a very easy, flat trail through the trees with the opportunity to see some Nebraska wildlife as you ride. The trailhead at the north end starts just a few miles southeast of Nebraska City.

How to get to Steamboat Trace Trailhead;

Take Highway 75 south and turn left (east) on the road to the power plant. Follow the signs and drive for 3 – 4 miles, the trailhead will be on the right. There is a nice covered shelter with picnic tables, bulletin board and a trail fee station. However, there are NO restrooms or water. Be prepared beforehand.

This is the north end of an old railroad line running west of the power plant offering a fun ride down to the college town of Peru, NE. This is not a large town, but offers several amenities. When arriving, you will find a small campground – picnic area and you have the old train station complete with water and restrooms. Venture into town and you will find several establishments offering adult refreshments and food.



The Nebraska National Forest is a United States National Forest located in the U.S. state of Nebraska. The total area of the national forest is 141,864 acres (574 km2).

The national forest comprises two ranger districts. The 90,000-acre (364 km2) Bessey Ranger District is located in the Sandhills of central Nebraska. Encompassing about 63.9% of the forest’s total area, it lies in parts of Thomas and Blaine counties. It was established in 1902 by Charles E. Bessey because he believed forests could be recreated in treeless areas of the Great Plains for use as a national timber reserve. This resulted in a 20,000-acre forest, the largest human-planted forest in the United States. The Bessey Nursery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the nursery supplies upto 3 million seedlings per year.

Great camping, atv, horseback riding, hiking and biking. This park offers a variety of activities for young and old. A climb up the firetower offers a spectacular view of the surrounding area.


Hiking March 28th at Platte River State Park. Four of us did a 2 hr, 4 mile hike from the East end over to the Falls, and then over to the Swimming Pool Area. A slow pace at times due to it being muddy in some spots, but beautiful weather made up for it. Ice on the Waterfall made for a great photo. After it warms up a couple weeks, most of the trails should be great for hiking or biking.

Go HERE for a trail map

Platte River State Park
14421 346th Street
Louisville, NE 68037
(402) 234-2217