Rails to Trails

“In my opinion the best way to see Nebraska is not at 75 mph on I-80, but at a much more leisurely pace on the seat of a bicycle.”

—Rev. Bill Ritter, Director, Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger; Member, National Bicycle Tour Directors Association

The Cowboy Trail is a former rail line converted into a scenic recreational path for biking, hiking and horseback riding. Once complete, it will stretch 321 miles across Nebraska, from Norfolk to Chadron, making it the longest rails-to-trails conversion in the nation.

Bike trails in other Great Plains states connect a vast network of trails for the amateur or serious biker.


Cowboy Trail

Norfolk to Valentine, Nebraska

Experience the nation’s longest rails-to-trail trek along the northern tier of Nebraska. You can hike, bike, or horseback ride a total of 195 miles on completed trail from Norfolk to Valentine. Enjoy the small towns along the way, beautiful scenery and pristine air on the Cowboy Trail.

Prairie Bike Path

Trail head located south of I 90 at Exit 1163, see website for details

The Prairie Path Trail is an unimproved surface trail. The trail’s rough surface and length give it a moderate difficulty rating but is overall relatively flat. Features of note are the near by Badland formations and prairie dogs. Seasonal features are flowers and birds, in particular burrowing owls. The missile silo portion of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is located along the path.

Know of an ecotourist-friendly place in the Great Plains to bike? Email us at cgps@unl.edu