Southeast Nebraska and Omaha ROAD TRIP
Nebraska Auto Tour 1
In Lewis & Clark’s day, the Mouth of the Platte River marked the beginning of the uncharted frontier. Both Lewis & Clark wrote of the beauty and vastness of the prairie and wildlife that abounded all around. Today Southeast Nebraska offers scenic river towns, great state parks and vacation fun for the whole family!
1. Nebraska City
Visit the Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Interpretative Trail and Visitor Center for exhibits featuring all the different wildlife and plants the Corps saw as they moved upriver. The Visitor Center also features a keelboat display, fantastic views of the Missouri River Basin and historical re-enactments throughout the summer.
Nebraska City also features the J. Sterling Morton Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum, Lied Lodge and Conference Center, Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard, the Kregel Windmill Museum, plus six more great museums. Go to: NebraskaCityMuseums.org and VisitOtoeCountry.com.
A scenic and historic river town that features the Spirit of Brownville Riverboat. Brownville Riverside Park features Meriwether Lewis Dredge Museum, boat ramp & dock, camping, and picnic shelters.
3. Indian Cave State Park
10 miles south of Brownville on Hwy 67. 3,052-acre Park on the Missouri River. Camping, 20 miles of trails. For current park features, go to: OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Picturesque town on US 75 features the Nemaha Valley Museum and Peru State College.
Includes the Cass County Historical Museum. Visit the Schilling Wildlife Management Area to see the Mouth of the Platte River at its confluence with the Missouri River. Go to: VisitCassCounty.com.
Features the beautiful Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, Gifford Farm Education Center, Sarpy County Historical Museum, historic home tours and the Bellevue Pioneer Cemetery, the final resting place of Chief Big Elk, the last full-blooded chief of the Omaha Tribe. Bellevue is home to Nebraska’s oldest church, the Old Presbyterian Church, and the oldest commercial building, the Old Fontenelle Bank, and a log cabin. Watch a great baseball game at Werner Park at nearby Papillion and shop for discounts from top name brands at Nebraska Cross Outlets on I-80 at Gretna.
The Louisville State Recreation Area on NE 50 features modern campgrounds, camping pads, swimming, floating playground, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and canoe access to the Platte River. For current park features, go to: OutdoorNebraska.gov.
8. Platte River State Park
Near Louisville on NE 50. Features include modern cabins, conference facilities, seasonal restaurant, teepee village, lodging,swimming, hiking, paddle boats, archery, horseback trail rides, Platte River viewscapes, glamping cabins, campground, several miles of quality mountain bike trails for some of the best rides in the Midwest. For current park features, go to: OutdoorNebraska.gov.
9. Schramm Park and Nature Center
6-miles south of I-80 exit 432. This 331-acre jewel along the Platte River is the site of the state’s first fish hatchery. The new aquarium and nature center features exhibits showcasing over 60 native species. The park has a nice offering of hiking trails through a woodland setting with watchable wildlife. For current park features, go to: OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Two Rivers State Recreation Area – West of Omaha on NE 92, this is a great spot for fishing, camping, swimming and picnicing, and is home to ten converted and fully furnished railroad cabooses that can be rented for a unique overnight lodging opportunity. Features six cabooses refurbished as cabins. For current park features, go to: OutdoorNebraska.gov.
10. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Just off I-80 at Exit 426. 690-acre state park overlooking the Platte River features lodge, group and conference facilities, modern cabins, dining, family aquatic center, water slides, wave pool, sports fields, trail rides, ropes course, climbing wall, alpine slide, crafts, fishing, picnicking, hiking, 70-ft. observation tower, nature conservancy, and live theater. For current park features, go to: OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, near Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, is a wildlife adventure amidst herds of buffalo, elk, deer and antelope, and a walking trail where you’ll see wolves and bears. The Strategic Air & Space Museum is nearby.
11. Fort Calhoun
Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, a re-created 1820’s frontier outpost is at the historic site of the First Council between Lewis & Clark and Native Americans from the Otoe and Missouria tribes. Today the Fort has been re-created to be authentic in every detail and features displays, artifacts, a theater and historical re-enactments the first weekend of every month during the summer and fall. Visitors to Fort Calhoun can also step back in time to the area’s pioneer past at the Washington County Museum and the historic Frahm House. Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge is nearby.
Includes the Tower of the Winds Monument, Cottonwood Marina and Riverfront Park.
Downtown area includes Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters and Visitor Center, Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, The Durham Museum, First National’s Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness/Pioneer Courage sculpture parks, the Old Market Entertainment District, and the CHI Health Center Arena. South Omaha includes Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Lauritzen Gardens, and Kenefick Park. North Omaha includes the Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters.