More Travel Facts for the Steamboat Trace Trail
In 1806, explorers Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri River through present-day southeastern Nebraska. Their Corps of Discovery observed and described wooded bluffs and rocky cliffs as they sailed up the river. Today, much of that same scenery is open to visitors along the 22-mile Steamboat Trace Trail from Nebraska City to Brownville.
It's a trail featuring more than two centuries of attractions. History buffs can explore markers from Lewis and Clark's journey and famous cliff carvings, as well as later relics from the era of paddle-wheel steamers that defined settlement in the towns along the pathway. And all throughout the trail, the Steamboat Trace delights with sweeping views of the Cornhusker State, from flood plains to Missouri River bridges and serene woodlands. So whether you're into apple orchards or steamboats, birding or bicycling, on the Trace you'll find an adventure suited for users of every age and inclination.
Here are extended Travel Facts to help you plan your trip to the Steamboat Trace. Read the full article to learn more about one of Nebraska's reigning rail-trails.
What to Do
With much in the way of lodging, services and attractions, Nebraska City makes a nice base for your Steamboat Trace adventure. The Lied Lodge in Nebraska City (800.546.5433) is highly recommended, with modern rooms and a pleasant restaurant. The rustic lodge puts you near several attractions, particularly Arbor Day Farm, where kids enjoy nature trails and a big treehouse. Also check out the film there showing famous movie scenes in which trees played prominent roles. In apple-picking season, you can pick your own at Arbor Day Farm or other nearby orchards. Other attractions include Arbor Lodge State Park (featuring J. Sterling Morton's home); the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center; the Civil War Veterans Museum; and Mayhew Cabin, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Camping also is available. For more Nebraska City visitor information, call 800.514.9113 or visit www.nebraskacity.com.
Brownville, population 146, doesn't have a bank or a gas station, but you'll find multiple museums, art galleries, used bookstores, antique shops, historical homes, a winery, a concert hall and a riverboat. Some unique lodging is available, including the River Inn, a former tour boat transformed into a floating bed-and-breakfast. Camping is available at Brownville State Recreation Area. Call 402.825.3968 or visit www.brownville-ne.com.
In Peru, just a few feet off the trail are a simple campground, a nice restroom and a picnic area. The town, a popular destination for birdwatchers and naturalists, also features several B&B options. For information, visit www.ci.peru.ne.us/tourism.htm.
If you find yourself with time to visit Omaha, Nebraska's largest city, you can't go wrong with the Henry Doorly Zoo, regarded as among the nation's best, or the Old Market, a historical warehouse district now filled with restaurants, nightspots and shops. For information, call 866.937.6624 or visit www.visitomaha.com.
The Bike Rack stores in both Omaha and Lincoln offer a variety of bikes for rent. Call 402.333.1031 in Omaha or 402.488.2101 in Lincoln.