11 field trips offered at Plains Safaris ecotourism conference

Crane Trust fat biking

By Katie Nieland, Center for Great Plains Studies

When planning the 2018 Great Plains conference, we thought it was essential to offer guests the chance to experience some ecotourism before we talk about it for two days. So we put together the following set of field trips and workshops that represent a wide range of available activities in the region. They are filling up fast, so register early to get the field trip you want.

Crane Trust Fat Biking
Enjoy an excursion on comfortable “fat-tire” bikes that can tackle even the toughest terrain. View stretches of the historic Platte River, venture over untilled prairie, and journey to places where a vehicle can’t reach.

Workshop: Nebraska Business Development Center
Join Rick Yoder from UNO’s Nebraska Business Development Center for a workshop on how to build a sustainable, ‘green’ business and attract environmentally conscious customers.

Crane Trust Bison Tour
The Crane Trust is home to the largest genetically-pure herd of bison in the state of Nebraska. The bison at the Crane Trust not only provide a great ecotourism opportunity for guests but, more importantly, are a vital piece to restoring and maintaining thousands of acres of historic prairie ecosystems.

Photo Safari with Award-Winning Photographer Michael Farrell
Embark on a photo safari with award-winning photographer Michael Farrell and discover things in the environment of the Great Plains you’ve never bothered to notice before!

Agritourism Progressive Meal
In this unique agritourism experience, you’ll visit and tour Kinkaider Brewery, Mac’s Creek Winery, and Thunderhead Brewery (plus have appetizers, lunch, and dessert).

Guided Tour of Old Father Prairie
Join a master naturalist on a guided tour of Oldfather Prairie, a two-mile loop on the northeastern edge of Cottonmill Park in Kearney.

Harlan County Lake Prairie Dog Tour
Interested in watching prairie dogs at play? Then join environmental educator Keanna Leonard for a tour of the prairie dogs, the Harlan County Reservoir, and fascinating local history.

Biking the Kearney Hike/Bike Trail
Biking and a guided tour of a museum: It’s a two-for-one deal! Start your journey at Yanney Park at 1 p.m. and bike to the Kearney Archway for a 45-minute guided tour of this museum dedicated to Nebraska’s role in westward expansion.

Workshop: Incorporating Stargazing into Nature Tourism
Join Nebraska Star Party’s John Johnson and learn about how ecotourism businesses and nonprofits can add stargazing activities to their offerings. Includes a visit to the University of Nebraska Kearney planetarium.

Prairie Plains Walking Tour
Join Bill Whitney of Prairie Plains Resource Institute and explore some of central Nebraska’s most gorgeous locations. Visit Bader Park and Gjerloff Prairie in the morning, have lunch on PPRI’s Education Center patio, then head to Sherman Ranch and end with the trail bridge over the Platte River south of Central City.

Kayak Gallagher Canyon
Join UNL’s Outdoor Recreation Assistant Director Jordan Messerer on a kayak trip through the beautiful Gallagher Canyon State Recreation Area.

View all the field trip details and register at our Plains Safaris site.