Omaha & Northeast Nebraska ROAD TRIP


In 1804 Lewis and Clark explored America the Beautiful along the scenic Missouri River in today’s Northeast Nebraska. Today’s visitors can enjoy great cities, friendly people and unique outdoor recreation opportunities!

1. Omaha

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.  

2. 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 remodeled visitor center with great new exhibits, 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.

3. Blair

Includes the Tower of the Winds Monument, Cottonwood Marina and Riverfront Park.

4. Tekamah & Decatur

Summit Lake State Recreation Area on Hwy 32 West, includes camping, fishing and hunting. Tekamah features the Burt County Museum. Missouri River access and camping at Beck Park in Decatur.

5. Macy

Omaha Indian Reservation, Blackbird Hill Scenic Overlook, Annual Powwow. Blackbird Hill is where Lewis and Clark paid tribute at the grave of Chief Blackbird near today’s Scenic Overlook.

6. Winnebago

Winnebago Indian Reservation, Angel De Cora Memorial Museum and Research Center, Honoring-The-Clans Sculpture Garden and Cultural Plaza, Cultural Center & Museum and Annual Powwow. Go to:

7. Dakota City

Picturesque town on US 77 features Cottonwood Cove Park.

8. South Sioux City

Siouxland Freedom Park on Riverside Drive has the only half-scale Vietnam Memorial Wall and a dog park.

9. Ponca

North of City of Ponca is Ponca State Park, the Gateway to the Missouri National Recreational River. The 2,166-acre Park features interpretative programs conference and educational center, modern cabins, modern campgrounds, scenic trails, horse-back trail rides, swimming pool, special events, hiking, picnicking, golf course, and boat ramp access to the Missouri River. For current park features, go to:

10. Crofton

The area also includes Lewis and Clark Lake and the Shannon Trail experience, named for Pvt. George Shannon of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who was lost in the area for 15 days.

11. Lewis & Clark Lake State Recreation Area

4-miles west of NE 121 & R54C. Includes 5 recreation areas: Weigand-Burbach, Bloomfield, Miller Creek, Deep Water, and South Shore. Weigand-Burbach has full service marina, modern cabins, camping, boat ramps, playgrounds, etc. Other sites have boat ramps, camping, hiking, horseback trail, etc. For current park features, go to:

12. Santee

Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, annual powwow. Pvt. George Shannon of the Lewis and Clark expedition was lost in this area for 15 days.

13. Niobrara

Includes Kreycik River-view Elk Ranch, Ponca Tribal Museum and the Chief Standing Bear Memorial Bridge Turnout. Niobrara State Park – at NE-12 is nearby. The 1,314-acre Park features modern cabins, group conference facilities, modern campgrounds, swimming, horseback trail rides, and boat access to the Missouri River. For current park features, go to:

14. Lynch

Near the site where Lewis and Clark first saw prairie dogs at the “Old Baldy Landmark.”

15. Norfolk

The eastern trailhead to the Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail. Also includes Aquaventure Water Park, the Norfolk Arts Center, and the Elkhorn Valley Museum featuring the fun Johnny Carson Gallery celebrating Norfolk’s famous native son.

16. Bancroft

Features the John G. Neihardt State Historic Site with exhibits on the history of the Great Plains and Nebraska’s famous poet laureate.

17. Fremont

Features Gallery 72 West and a number of antique boutiques, the Nebraska Railroad Museum and excursions aboard the Fremont & Elkhorn Railroad, and Splash Station water park. Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area is nearby with fishing, swimming, boating and picnicking. For current park features, go to: 

18. 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:

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.

19. 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 woodland setting with watchable wildlife. For current park features, go to:

Two Rivers State Recreation Area – West of Omaha on NE 92, this is a great spot for fishing, camping, swimming and picnicing. Features ten converted and fully furnished railroad cabooses that can be rented for a unique overnight lodging opportunity. For current park features, go to:

20. 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 view-scapes, bike trails, 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:

21. Bellevue

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 Crossing Outlets on I-80 at Gretna.