The Cowboy Trail – It’s a Rail Trail

Cowboy Trail Norfolk Elkhorn River xing damaged 4.JPG

Hey Haw! The Cowboy Trail is a rail trail in northern Nebraska. It currently runs 195 miles across northern Nebraska, following the old Chicago & Northwestern rail route from Norfolk in the east to Valentine in the west being one of the largest Rails to Trails projects in the United States. The railroad called this the “Cowboy Line”. And here, you will immerse yourself in nature and wildlife.

It is a multi-use recreational trail suitable for bicycling, walking and horseback riding. It occupies an abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway corridor. Very cool! The trail runs across the Outback area of Nebraska.

Long trestle bridge; twelve trestle pillars

Completed sections of the trail are crushed limestone. There are 221 bridges on the trail; all bridges have been converted for recreational use. The bridge across the Niobrara River east of Valentine is a quarter-mile long and 148 feet high; the bridge across Long Pine Creek at Long Pine is 595 feet long and 145 feet high.

The trail parallels US 20 and US 275 for almost its entire length. A variety of landscapes are found along the trail: the Pine Ridge, the Sandhills, and the valleys of the Niobrara River, Long Pine Creek and the Elkhorn River.

More Nebraska Hiking, Biking and Walking Destinations

2 thoughts on “The Cowboy Trail – It’s a Rail Trail

  1. Nice looking trail. I recommend this book I just read: “From Rails to Trails: The Making of America’s Active Transportation Network”. It took a lot of work by advocacy groups to save the thousands of miles of abandoned railways converted to trails in the US. My thanks to all of them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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