Category: Things to Do

What do you do during the summer when you need to raise money for College? You open a Shaved Ice stand!

Take a beautiful Drive along the Republican River to Arapahoe and cruise into downtown. On the east side of Main Street you’ll find the SnoBiz Shaved Ice stand. Here you’ll meet a young, enterprising woman named Alayna. Her goal . . . earn money this summer for college.

With the help of here parents, they found a small concession trailer perfect for serving Shaved Ice. They serve a vast assortment of flavors, toppings and different sizes. They are open later in the afternoon and evenings.

What a great treat on a hot, humid summer Nebraska day!

Situated right in the middle of Nebraska, along the Platte River and I80 sits the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. The existence of the center is to maintain and protect the physical, hydrological, and biological integrity of the Big Bend area for the continual support of Whooping Cranes, Sandhill Cranes and many other migratory birds on the river.

The trust currently owns and manages approximately 10,000 acres, open to the public year round. This center is at the heart of Spring Migration for Sandhills Cranes, and offers public tours during this migration for a close up experience. The center manages several blinds and a few of these are reserved for overnight viewing, if you want to stay longer.

Take the walking path from the visitor center and you will find a viewing tower, and several viewing bridges along the way. Oh ya . . . The even have a herd of bison here!

This is an unexpected surprise right along the interstate, that many people may overlook.

Open 9 – 5 Monday thru Saturday (except holidays)

For migration season the hours differ. Please look online for their schedule.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center


crane 1 crane2 crane3


Even in the cold, February and March is a great time to get out and see Bald Eagles wintering in Nebraska. Several locations along the Missouri River are reporting eagles including locations near Gavin’s Point Dam by Yankton.

We have personally viewed eagles this last weekend (Feb. 20th – 22nd) at Johnson Lake near Lexington and several small lakes along I-80 near Grand Island.

Nothing cooler than watching these birds snatch a full size fish near the edge of the ice out on the lakes. Truly an awesome sight.

A few words of advice. . .

1. Show respect for the birds

  • Give them space ( view from a distance)
  • Do not hunt ( it is illegal, and also an American Treasure)
  • Show respect for private and public lands. (Ask for permission on private property)

Follow these simple rules for a great viewing experience!



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.


Headed to Snake Falls, or Niobrara River? Valentine hosts a very nice Steakhouse downtown, located on Main Street. The business includes an outdoor Beer Garden and large Banquet area. If you are looking for a good steak, burger or a beer, this is a great place to go. A nice atomosphere to accompany good food.

Cedar Canyon Steakhouse
112 North Main Street
Valentine, NE 69201
(402) 376-3176


This is a short trail for bikers or visitors to the Louisville – Springfield area in Nebraska. The south Trailhead has a parking lot on the west side of the State Highway 50 bridge, and north side of the Platte River. Very scenic here, as well as being a very popular drop-in and get-out point for canoes, kayaks and tubers.

We suggest starting from the south end and head to Springfield and back. The trail north of Springfield ends abruptly several miles outside of town and is not maintained like the southern route. The proposed idea is that the last couple miles will be completed in the near future linking Springfied to Southwest Omaha (Millard, Papillion).



Drive north of Omaha on Highway 75 about 9 miles and you will find this delightful Nebraska Wine & Beer tasting spot. What a great place and friendly too. Sandy Kucera was a great hostess as we sampled several wines, and learned about the history of Fort Calhoun and the area from local patrons visiting her while we were here.

The historic brick building was built in 1904 by the Metz Brothers Brewing Company and served as a Saloon. As you enter the building there is a really cool round compass rose on the sidewalk, and on the south side of the building is an old, faint hand painted sign for Metz Beer. The building has a storied past, but we can’t tell you more, you’ll have to visit Sandy for all the details!

Visit their facebook page. If you want  good knowledge about Nebraska Wines, go here. They do a great job of updating information and offering the best of what Nebraska has to offer. A really neat Wine Shop!

111 North 14th Street, US HWY 75 – Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway
Downtown Fort Calhoun, NE 68023
(402) 468-9463