The Great American Rail-Trail crosses from Iowa into Nebraska on the iconic Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge—a 3,000-foot cable-suspension structure over the Missouri River. The preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail in Nebraska weaves through the urban areas of Omaha and Lincoln, connecting these population centers to the western, more rural, part of the state along one of the longest and most famous rail-trails in the country—the Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail.
The “Great American” Route Through Nebraska
RTC’s route analysis defines the preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail through Nebraska as 590 miles and 52% complete—comprising 307 existing trail miles and 283 gap miles. The Great American will be hosted by 24 existing trails through the state. Click the links below to view full trail descriptions on TrailLink.com.
Trails Along the Route
• Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
• Burt Street Trail
• Turner Boulevard Trail
• Field Club Trail
• South Omaha Trail
• Keystone Trail
• West Papio Trail
• Walnut Creek Lake Trail
• MoPac Trail (Springfield)
• Platte River Connection
• MoPac East Trail
• MoPac Trail West
Route Reveal Celebration
Live from Chadron, Nebraska, along the Cowboy Trail
Live from Gordon, Nebraska, along the Cowboy Trail
Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail
Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail offers an authentic Old West experience with friendly small towns and sweeping views of the High Plains and pristine prairie. At a whopping 219 miles, it’s already the third longest rail-trail in the country and yet has 100 more miles awaiting future development. With the stunning bridge over the Niobrara River and a wildlife-rich backdrop—including roaming bison, wild turkeys, elk and prairie dogs—this is a bucket-list trail for true adventurers.
Trail Stories about Nebraska
Like you, we can’t wait to see the Great American Rail-Trail vision come to life—but we can’t do it alone. Help us reach 1 million pledges for the Great American, showing the strength and solidarity of the trails community.
Completing the Great American Rail-Trail: Catalyst Initiatives in Nebraska
In every state along the preferred route of the Great American, needs for completing the trail vary. To spur trail completion, RTC has identified initial catalyst initiatives—projects or challenges that would most benefit from RTC’s national breadth of resources. (View the complete list of catalyst initiatives and criteria here.) Through these initiatives, RTC will support local and state partners, investing time, expertise and organizational resources in specific projects that are critical to the ultimate completion of the Great American Rail-Trail.
Great American Rail-Trail Gap #55: South Bend to Wabash (MoPac Trail Gap)
RTC will work with the local partnership, including Bike Walk Nebraska, the Nebraska Trails Foundation and the Great Plains Trail Network, pursuing strategies to complete this gap in the MoPac Trail—the last significant gap to complete a trail between Nebraska’s two population centers, Omaha and Lincoln. RTC will provide technical and planning assistance in the form of strategic planning; local-property owner engagement; alternative analysis; completing a feasibility study; cost estimation; and design, engineering and construction assistance.