|Ezra Meeker in 1921 at age 91|
Total Length: 747.0 miles
The Fifty Trail makes use of the route of the Great Plains Trail entering and leaving western Nebraska, but in the middle it takes a wide swing eastward to allow the hiker to sample more of the surprisingly interesting diversity of the state, including the Oregon Trail, one of the largest man-made forests in the world, the longest continuous rail trail in the United States, and the sprawling Sand Hills region of former sand dunes now stabilized by grass and housing small lakes and ponds between the dunes in several areas that the trail visits.
As seen from the map, the Great Plains Trail hugs the western boundary of Nebraska, offering the hiker a major ‘short cut’ and/or providing opportunity to hike a comprehensive western Nebraska loop.
Upon entering Nebraska from Colorado, the Fifty Trail passes a short side road to Nebraska’s high point, 5429 foot Panorama Point.
Continuing north to Scottsbluff via the Great Plains Trail, the Fifty Trail then turns ESE to follow the historic route of the Oregon Trail along the North Platte River, here coincident with three other National Historic Trails—the Pony Express Trail, the California (Gold Rush) Trail and the Mormon Pioneer Trail. The trail passes several historic sites including Chimney Rock and Courthouse and Jail Rocks.
Reaching vast sandy-shored Lake McConaughy the Fifty Trail joins the American Discovery Trail and follows the north shore of the lake, past numerous recreation areas and beaches, to the city of North Platte.
At North Platte the trail turns north to follow winding local roads through the remote and lightly populated Sand Hills region. This is a vast area of ice-age-era sand dunes, now ‘frozen’ in place by a cover of mixed-grass prairie, which covers more than a quarter of the state of Nebraska.
And here, sitting in the midst of the endless rolling hills, comes an unexpected surprise.
|1973 photo of the back entrance to Halsey section of Nebraska National Forest.|
Did you know that there is a Nebraska National Forest? Did you know that every tree in the Halsey unit of Nebraska National Forest is planted? Yep, this photo is of a back entrance, Gaston Road, out of sight of the plantings, but this used to be the largest man-made forest in the world. Now there’s a bigger one in China, but this is still a special and unique place. The Fifty Trail takes the hiker through this not-quite-natural wonder, then continues north through the barren hills for a short distance to another of Nebraska’s superlatives.
At 321 miles in length, Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail is the longest continuous rails-to-trails conversion in the United States. The Fifty Trail turns west near the hamlet of Johnstown and follows the Cowboy Trail west to its western terminus at Chadron.
From Chadron it’s a short walk on roads to the Pine Ridge Trail system in a natural growing unit of Nebraska National Forest. The route then rejoins the Great Plains Trail at the town of Crawford, and from there it’s on north to South Dakota via roads and a three-mile foot trail in Toadstool Geologic Park within Ogallala National Grassland.
MAPS and TRAIL GUIDES:
42-Page Comprehensive Trail guide brochure for Northwest Nebraska with maps and photos. It’s a big file, close to 50 Megs, but this is just the access page: http://discovernwnebraska.com/trail-guide/
Local Oregon Trail information: https://www.legendsofamerica.com/ne-plattevalleyoregontrail.html
Great Plains Trail web site, with interactive map: http://www.greatplainstrail.org/gpt-map/
Saddle Rock Trail, Scotts Bluff National Monument: https://www.nps.gov/scbl/planyourvisit/sadrock.htm
Pine Ridge National Recreation Area interactive Trails map: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nebraska/recarea/?recid=10615
HEART OF THE TRAIL:
Great Plains Trail and Oregon Trail—Wildcat Hills Nature Center and trail to Courthouse and Jail Rocks. (54.5 miles without the highly recommended 1.6 mile (one way) Saddle Rock Trail side trip in Scottsbluff National Monument.)
8786.6 – (add 0.0) Colorado-Nebraska Border. Start of Nebraska Segment. Continue north on CR 5 following the route of the Great Plains Trail. After just over a tenth of a mile a side road exits left heading west. This is a dead end access road to 5424’ Panorama Point, the Nebraska state high point. Otherwise continue north on CR 5.
8788.8 – (add 2.2) Reach ‘T’ intersection. Turn right onto CR 6 and head east.
8790.8 – (add 2.0) Reach ‘T’ intersection. Turn left onto CR 9, heading north.
8791.8 – (add 1.0) At ‘T’ intersection turn right onto CR 8, heading east.
8796.0 – (add 4.2) Turn left, leaving CR 8 and heading northbound on CR 17.
8806.0 – (add 10.0) Cross over I-80 at exit 8. Continue north on what is now paved highway 53C.
8808.6 – (add 2.6) Turn Right onto Lincoln Highway, US 30. Town of Bushnell is directly north across the tracks. Continue generally east on US 30.
8812.2 – (add 3.6) Entrance on right to Lodgepole Wayside Park and Oliver Reservoir Recreation Site, with camping. Continue east on US 30.
8819.8 – (add 7.6) Kimball, Nebraska, with services. With big cemetery on right, turn left onto W. 1st St. where US 30 bears slightly right, to continue traveling parallel to the railroad tracks.
8820.6 – (add 0.8) Center of town of Kimball. Turn left onto Chestnut St./Old US 71 and pass under railroad tracks. The major grocery store in town, Shopco, is 0.9 miles to the right on Chestnut St. and a Super-8 motel is another 0.4 miles, near the I-80 exit.
8821.9 – (add 1.3) Turn left on Longhorn Road, CR 36.5
8823.9 – (add 2.0) Turn right onto CR 37, heading north. Pass sand quarries then a small wind generator farm (seven windmills on right) within the first mile and a half.
8835.4 – (add 11.5) Turn left onto Albin Road, CR 6 and head west.
8836.4 – (add 1.0) Turn right onto CR 35 heading north.
8839.4 – (add 3.0) Road bends left, soon bearing westward.
8840.4 – (add 1.0) Road bends right, returning to northbound bearing for two miles then making a brief jog westward before continuing north.
8847.1 – (add 6.7) Intersection with CR 18 running E-W. Continue straight northward on what is now a paved road, School Street.
8847.3 – (add 0.2) Bear right, turning east onto State Street, town of Harrisburg.
8847.8 – (add 0.5) Paved road bears left, turning north, becoming Spur Way, Highway 4A.
8848.3 – (add 0.5) Paved highway begins a big sweeping curve toward the right. Leave it and continue due north on dirt Road, which is CR 35.
8853.6 – (add 5.3) Turn right on paved Nebraska Highway 88, heading east.
8856.7 – (add 3.1) Turn left onto 4-lane divided highway Nebraska 71, heading north.
8861.3 – (add 4.6) Entrance to Wildcat Hills Recreation Area. Turn right off highway then left to Nature center parking lot. From right (east) side of parking lot, get on the trail system and follow the Great Plains Trail route, which heads north past the east side of the Nature Center Grounds, then forks right beside the Nature Center and heads more east, then turns left at a ‘T’ junction to begin descending into a canyon/draw. After 0.7 miles be sure to take the side trail left to the open rocky outcrop viewpoint where the trail curves around the ridge. Do not follow the ridge trail but stay slightly left to follow the course of another draw/gulch heading generally southeast.
8862.9 – (add 1.6) End of trail at dirt road. Turn left to pass communication Tower on right and then left just beyond the tower at ‘T’ intersection to join Old Stage Hill Road. Follow this road northwestward out of the recreation area.
8864.8 – (add 1.9) Junction with four-lane Hwy 71. Turn right, heading north.
8865.9 – (add 1.1) Intersection with County Road W. Turn left, heading west.
8866.9 – (add 1.0) ‘T’ Intersection. Turn right onto CR 20 and head north.
8870.9 – (add 4.0) Turn right onto CR R/Roubedeau/Robidoux Road, heading east.
8871.9 – (add 1.0) Turn left onto paved Five Rocks Road, staying straight where Kimball Ave. forks off to the NE after ¼ mile.
8873.4 – (add 1.5) Turn left onto M St., Old highway 92.
|Eagle Rock, with wagon display, route of the original Oregon Trail, Scotts Bluff National Monument, just beyond the visitor center. NPS photo.|
8875.2 – (add 1.8) Entrance to Scotts Bluff National Monument, Visitor center on right. Turn right, then right into the parking lot, then right onto a paved bike trail that heads back east toward the town of Gering. But first take the 1.6 mile (one way) Saddle Rock Trail, the park’s main foot trail that starts at the visitor center and ascends to Scotts Bluff Summit. The trail provides fine views, rugged cliffs, and even a tunnel. There is a summit shuttle that will allow the hiker to walk this trail only one way (perhaps down hill – there is a 435 foot elevation change).
8876.4 – (add 1.2) At a fork in the bike trails where crossing a dirt road, bear sharp right to continue east beside U Street as the other fork follows the dirt road north.
8877.2 – (add 0.8) The bike trail crosses Five Rocks Road then soon crosses 21st Street then turns left to cross U Street. Here the Great Plains Trail heads north following 21st Street. Fifty Trail now follows the Oregon Trail down the South Platte River. Continue east on the bike trail along the north side of U Street.
8877.7 – (add 0.5) Bike trail ends at a turn-around just beyond 13th St. and U St. Cross U Street and head south on the sidewalk next to 13th Street for one long block. Turn left on T Street following the sidewalk well away from the south side of the street. After two short blocks turn diagonally right onto the paved walkway through Gardner Park, coming out at S and 11th Street with a McDonald’s directly ahead across the intersection. Go east on S Street to the McDonalds then turn south on 10th Street—the main north-south street through Gering. Continue south on 10th street for six blocks through the heart of town with many available services.
8878.5 – (add 0.8) Turn left on M Street, which is Old Highway 92 and follow it east out of town. Coming beside the railroad Tracks and passing under the double bridges of Highway 71, continue ESE paralleling the tracks on what is now Nebraska 92.
8886.3 – (add 7.8) pass through the little town of Melbeta, with post office. Pass Chimney Rock historical roadside Marker on left after 10.4 miles.
8897.1 – (add 10.8) Turn right, head south on County 62F, headed toward Chimney Rock.
8898.4 – (add 1.3) ‘T’ Intersection. Turn left onto CR 98 and head east. But first turn right and take the short side trip to Chimney Rock via the dirt road 0.5 miles to the parking area and cemetery and then another 0.5 miles via the Chimney Rock foot trail to the base of this amazing natural monument.
8900.4 – (add 2.0) At ‘T’ Intersection turn right onto CR 79, heading south.
8901.4 – (add 1.0) Road bends SE then east, becoming CR 96, continue east on CR 96.
8903.8 – (add 2.4) Road ends at US 26. Turn right onto US 26 heading southeast then east.
8911.6 – (add 7.8) Junction with Main St./US 385 in the center of downtown Bridgeport (many services). Turn right and head south on US 385 and then Main St./Nebraska 88 where US 385 bears left. Cross tracks and continue due south on Nebraska 88.
|Oregon Trail landmarks Courthouse and Jail Rocks.|
8916.8 – (add 5.2) Side road to Courthouse and Jail Rocks exits right. Side trip to the parking area is 0.9 miles one way. There is only a short loop trail at the base of the Rocks. Otherwise continue south on Nebraska 88 passing golf course on right.
8917.4 – (add 0.6) Turn left onto County 99, which then proceeds southward.
8917.6 – (add 0.2) Turn left to stay on paved road, which becomes County 82. Continue east on CR 82.
8920.7 – (add 3.1) ‘T’ intersection. Immediately after crossing railroad tracks, turn right and head south on paved CR 105 beside tracks.
8922.7 – (add 2.0) Road turns eastward, becoming CR 78. Follow CR 78 east.
8927.3 – (add 4.6) Junction with US 385. Cross the highway and continue east on CR 78, now a gravel road.
8932.3 – (add 5.0) ‘T’ Intersection. Turn left on CR 121 and head north.
8933.3 – (add 1.0) Turn right onto CR 80, heading east.
8934.3 – (add 1.0) At intersection, turn left to remain on CR 80, now bearing northeastward.
8935.0 – (add 0.7) Reaching the flood plain of the North Platte River, turn right to stay on CR 80, now heading generally southeast beside the river.
8938.3 – (add 3.3) At intersection CR 80 turns south. Turn right onto CR 78 heading east, continuing beside the river.
8940.3 – (add 2.0) Road turns southward and becomes CR 133. Follow 133 south
8941.8 – (add 1.5) ‘T’ Intersection. Turn left to head east on CR 74, which begins to meander among center-pivot irrigated fields after passing a feed lot/farm one mile ahead. The road name becomes CR 72 after 3 ¼ miles and then CR 70 after about five miles.
8950.6 – (add 8.8) Turn left onto CR 149/151, which crosses the North Platte River on a multiple truss bridge. Before crossing that bridge turn right onto CR 54, passing a cemetery on left and continuing generally southeastward right beside the river.
8967.9 – (add 17.3) Road ends at ‘T’ intersection with Nebraska 27. Turn right, away from river, and head south, passing golf course on your left then climbing the bluffs to pass through flat farmland above.
8977.9 – (add 10.0) Turn left onto CR 34 and head east.
8990.8 – (add 12.9) Turn left onto CR 205, which ends at US 26. Turn left to head north on US 26. Fifty Trail joins the route of the east-bound American Discovery Trail here, and is now closely following the *west-bound* route of the Oregon Trail as it comes down Ash Hollow from California Hill after the treacherous ford of the South Platte River.
8993.0 – (add 2.2) Exiting left is the side road to Ash Hollow Museum and trailhead for the one-mile Windlass Hill hiking trail where old ruts from the original Oregon Trail are visible. Otherwise continue north on US 26.
8995.2 – (add 2.2) Exiting right is side road to Ash Hollow State Historic Park main unit, with views from the bluff near the visitor center but no real hiking trails. Continue north on US 26. ***From here follow the reverse route directions provided by the American Discovery Trail Society. The trail crosses the North Platte River and then follows closely beside the sandy shores of Lake McConaughy with numerous camping/recreation areas.
|North Shore of Lake McConaughy, embedded in Nebraska’s vast Sand Hills region.|
9020.8 – (add 25.6) East end of Lake McConaughy. Continue to follow American Discovery Trail eastward along the North Platte River, following lightly used irrigation canal levees in places.
9082.4 – (add 61.6) US 83 at entrance to Maloney Reservoir State Park. Turn left to head north on four-lane divided highway US 83, continuing to follow the route of the American Discovery Trail.
9086.5 – (add 4.1) State Farm Road and American Discovery Trail exit right toward Fish Hatchery. Fifty Trail continues north on US 83 into the city of North Platte, passing over Interstate 80 after 1.5 miles and following the south-bound US 83 route (one way street) northbound through town.
9091.5 – (add 5.0) After crossing the North Platte River, turn right off US 83 onto E. Hall School Road, heading east.
9092.2 – (add 0.7) Turn left onto N. Eshelman Road and head north.
9095.0 – (add 2.8) Cross US 83 and continue north. Road is now North Sandhill Road and is no longer paved. Road takes a half-mile jog east at 1.3 miles, but otherwise heads due north. Name changes to County Line Road after leaving Lincoln County.
9115.4 – (add 20.4) Reach Nebraska 92, and turn left, following the paved highway northwestward.
9120.0 – (add 4.6) Turn right at Ringold Free Methodist Church onto paved County Road/N. Ringold Road, and head north.
9137.3 – (add 17.3) Half a mile after pavement has ended at the Thomas County Line, where road name changed to Ringold-Seneca Road, come to a ‘Y’ intersection with Paxton-Santo road heading north to the right. Stay left to stay on Ringold-Seneca Road. Route heads west at first but turns north, meandering among larger grass-stabilized Ice-age sand dunes and crossing the Dismal River where the road name changes to S. Seneca Avenue. This is the heart of the vast and remote Nebraska Sand Hills.
9151.8 – (add 14.5) Just after passing a ranch on right, turn right and head east on Windmill Road.
9154.4 – (add 2.6) Windmill Road turns right, heading south where road straight ahead becomes Homestead Lane – a dead-end road to a ranch. Windmill Road heads south and then curves eastward
9155.4 – (add 1.0) Windmill Road again turns right where T Lane continues straight, dead-ending at a ranch. Continue south on Windmill Road, again turning eastward.
9160.2 – (add 4.8) Johnson Road comes in from the left. Continue straight (east) on Windmill Road.
9164.1 – (add 3.9) River Ave. merges from the SW. Bear left continuing NE then east on Windmill Road.
9168.1 – (add 4.0) Road ends at US 83. Just before reaching the highway, old US 83 crosses. Turn left and follow old 83 northward beside the new highway as far as possible. When approaching the crossing of the railroad tracks transfer left of the overpass onto the old highway that dead-ends at the tracks, cross them, and turn right to join US 83 as it heads east under its own overpass. This is also now Nebraska Highway 2. Continue east on Hwy. 2 after 1.2 miles where US 83 turns left.
9170.6 – (add 2.5) Turn left onto Gaston Road and head south into the back entrance of Nebraska National Forest.
9178.7 – (add 8.1) End of Gaston Road where Circle Road comes in from the right and continues straight. Go straight ahead on Circle Road, heading east.
9181.9 – (add 3.2) Natick Road merges from left and then immediately exits at a ‘Y’where Circle Road forks off to the left. Continue generally east on Circle road
9183.5 – (add 1.6) Lightly used seasonal road exits right soon after another such road comes in from the left. Turn right and backtrack southwest on this track which bears due south and then east into the forest. Continue almost due east across a treeless field beyond a fence to come to a denser forest at another fence, then continue east into that forest, eventually turning north. This is the area of full immersion into some of the oldest portions of this planted forest.
9187.1 – (add 3.6) Track ends at Circle Road. Turn left, heading generally northward.
9189.3 – (add 2.2) Foot/horse trail comes in from right and then leaves the road to the left, headed toward Scott Lookout tower. Turn left onto trail and follow it west toward the tower.
9189.7 – (add 0.4) Reach parking area on paved loop road circling Scott Lookout Tower. Proceed down this road, Highway 868, to Ranger Station and cross the Middle Loup River at the main entrance to the National Forest.
9193.0 – (add 3.3) Nebraska Highway 2. Cross the highway and turn right, on a paved bike path heading east along the north side of the highway. Path later becomes a sidewalk entering the town of Halsey.
9194.5 – (add 1.5) Intersection with Main Street/Purdum Road, Halsey. Turn left, headed north.
9206.6 – (add 12.1) ‘T’ Intersection at W N Loup Road. Turn right, heading east.
9207.1 – (add 0.5) ‘T’ Intersection. Turn left onto Elsmere Ave. heading north, soon crossing North Loup River. After 7.9 miles the road turns east, passing through small town of Elsmere, then bears generally northeast.
9223.8 – (add 16.7) Unpaved Moon Lake Road enters from left at a right curve in Elsmere Road. Turn left onto Moon Lake Road, essentially continuing straight ahead, generally headed NNE and passing through an area with a number of small lakes. Pass access road to Willow Lake boat ramp in Willow Lake State Wildlife Management Area, on right, after 0.7 miles. Otherwise continue north on Moon Lake Road passing Enders Lake, Long Lake, Philbrick Lake, among others. Moon Lake itself is well off the road, accessed, at about 12 miles, by a side road called Hill Road. Go figure.
9250.0 – (add 26.2) Cowboy Trail. Just before reaching US 20, the crushed limestone Cowboy Trail, the longest continuous rails-to-trails conversion in the country, crosses. Turn left and head west on the Cowboy Trail.
9271.8 – (add 21.8) Arabia trailhead parking area just before the trail significantly diverges from US 20 for a while. Continue on Cowboy Trail.
9285.1 – (add 13.3) Niobrara River. Fifty Trail and Cowboy Trail cross the river on a 150 foot high trestle bridge. See photo. Continue west on Cowboy Trail.
9286.9 – (add 1.8) East C St. Valentine Nebraska. Grocery stores to the west 0.1 miles. Continue on Cowboy Trail.
9288.2 – (add 1.3) Developed, groomed Cowboy Trail bicycle route ends here at South Thatcher Street. Continue on Cowboy Trail foot trail and right-of-way.
9314.0 – (add 25.8) Parking area/trailhead along US 20 halfway between Kilgore and Nenzel.
9325.1 – (add 11.1) Cherry St., Cody, Nebraska. Services. Continue west on Railroad Grade/Cowboy Trail.
9349.0 – (add 23.9) Across US 20 to the south is the entrance to Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area. Otherwise continue on Railroad grade/Cowboy Trail.
9350.0 – (add 1.0) Nebraska 61, Merrimon. Post office. Some services. Continue west on railroad grade/Cowboy Trail. The remaining portion of the trail has been the least developed. Railroad ties were only recently pulled out, and they still lie in piles to the side. Bridges are unimproved, no railings, with the original wooden structure requiring care to avoid the ankle-wrenching gaps. Probably not passable for bicycles and not apparently even mowed or maintained, but the trail is not overgrown and all the original bridges are short ones and all are intact and in good condition.
9377.8 – (add 27.8) Nebraska Highway 27/Main Street, Gordon, Nebraska. All services are north just a couple of blocks.
9392.6 – (add 14.8) Main Street, Rushville. Services to south. Grocery store ½ mile east on US 20. Continue west on Cowboy Trail.
9404.5 – (add 11.9) Main Street, Hay Springs. Services close by. Continue west on Cowboy Trail.
9418.0 – (add 13.5) End of Cowboy Trail for now. Tracks not yet removed at this point (approaching the town of Chadron). Switch off the railroad right of way and walk Redfern Road, which is parallel to the tracks just to the north.
9420.2 – (add 2.2) Redfern Road forks at Bordeaux Road. Bear left, crossing the old tracks, then turn left onto Bordeaux Road, heading due south. Cross US 20 and continue south on Bordeaux Road, which is a gravel road except for brief pavement south of US 20.
9427.4 – (add 7.2) Turn left on FR 723 (42.727256, -102.913096) headed toward Cliffs Trailhead. This is the beginning of a long walk on forest roads and non-motorized trails through a swath of public lands in Nebraska National Forest’s Pine Ridge Ranger District, Pine Ridge National Recreation Area, and Chadron State Park.
9428.9 – (add 1.5) Cliffs Trailhead parking area, adjacent to some impressive cliff formations—worth the short side trip. Otherwise continue generally west on FR 723.
9430.4 – (add 1.5) Spotted Tail road merges from north/right. Bear Right, turning north and follow Spotted Tail Road/FR 718.
9435.8 – (add 5.4) Spotted Tail Road ends at a cattle guard and ‘T’ Intersection where Kings Canyon Road comes in from right. Continue straight ahead on Kings Canyon Road.
9436.3 – (add 0.5) US 385. Cross the highway and continue straight on Kings Canyon Road, heading west.
9436.4 – (add 0.1) ‘T’ Intersection, turn right onto Country Club Road, heading northwest.
9437.4 – (add 1.0) Buttermilk Road comes in from the left. Turn left and proceed west on Buttermilk Road.
9440.9 – (add 3.5) Turn left, and head south on Deadhorse Road.
9447.2 – (add 6.3) Turn right onto FR 702 toward Coffee Mill trailhead.
9447.35 – (add 0.15) Coffee Mill Trailhead—an open grassy area on left. Leave FR 702, heading SSW on Pine Ridge Trail/Forest Trail 23C. Follow this trail into Pine Ridge National Recreation Area and out the other side.
9467.7 – (add 20.35) West Ash Trailhead, West Ash Creek Road (42.626763, -103.246083). Turn right and head north and west on West Ash Creek Road.
9478.7 – (add 11.0) Intersection with US 20. Continue west across the highway and into the town of Crawford. Road changes name from West Ash Creek Road to Annin Street.
9478.9 – (add 0.2) Three blocks after crossing the railroad tracks turn left onto 5th street, head south for three blocks.
9479.1 – (add 0.2) Turn right onto Reed Street, heading west. One block south and then three blocks back east from here there is a gas station/Convenience store.
9479.6 – (add 0.5) At the very end of Reed Street, with the Community center on left, continue onto bicycle path between ball fields. After 0.1 mile turn right onto the main bike path that follows an old railroad grade north through Crawford. At this point the Fifty Trail rejoins the Great Plains Trail.
9480.3 – (add 0.7) Main Street. Bike path ends. Take the short jog east and then follow 1st Street northeast continuing to follow the old railroad grade. Post office and grocery store are a block further east on Main Street.
9480.5 – (add 0.2) With railroad tracks just ahead, turn left on Dodd Road and head NW passing stock yard on right and city park on left then curving northward.
9482.3 – (add 1.8) Dodd Road turns left with railroad tracks immediately to the right. Turn left and continue west on Dodd Road.
9483.3 – (add 1.0) Intersection where Dodd Road turns right and Houston Road is the continuation straight ahead. Turn right on Dodd Road and head north.
9484.3 – (add 1.0) Turn left onto Moody Road, heading west.
9486.2 – (add 1.9) Turn right onto Rim Rock Road, heading north.
9487.2 – (add 1.0) Rim Rock Road turns left, now heading west. Continue on Rim Rock Road as it meanders north and west.
9493.7 – (add 6.5) At ‘T’ intersection, turn sharp right onto Cottonwood Road, heading east.
9494.4 – (add 0.7) Turn left on Milford Road, heading north.
9497.4 – (add 3.0) ‘T’ intersection: Turn left onto Sandcreek Road.
9500.9 – (add 3.5) Just after Sandcreek road turns left and road ahead becomes Meng Rd., turn right off Meng Road onto entrance road to Hudson Meng Education and Research Center. Head north to trailhead parking area.
9501.7 – (add 0.8) Bison Trail begins behind the Research Center building. Head north on Bison Trail. Upon reaching the Toadstool loop, the Great Plains trail takes the left/northern portion of the loop, which avoids the ‘badlands’ part of the trail, but visits the most photogenic rock formations.
9505.2 – (add 3.5) Toadstool Geologic Park trailhead and campground. Head east on entrance road.
9506.7 – (add 1.5) Cross railroad tracks and reach ‘T’ Intersection at Toadstool Road. Turn left and head NW on Toadstool Road.
9507.8 – (add 1.1) Turn left, crossing tracks again, and proceed west on Orella Road.
9515.8 – (add 8.0) ‘T’ intersection. Turn right on Hat Creek Road, heading north.
9519.3 – (add 3.5) Triangular ‘T’ Intersection with a lonely church and cemetery on the left. Turn left onto Montrose Road heading generally west. A side trail north leads to the War Bonnet Battlefield monument.
9523.4 – (add 4.1) Montrose Road turns right to head west at an intersection where the continuation straight ahead is Pants Butte Road. Turn right and continue west on Montrose Road.
9527.7 – (add 4.3) ‘T’ Intersection. Turn right onto Edgemont Road and head north.
9533.6 – (add 5.9) Nebraska-South Dakota Border. End of Nebraska Segment. Continue north on County 6412.
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