Nebraskaland May 2019

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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48 Nebraskaland • May 2019 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEBRASKA TOURISM COMMISSION MIXED BAG By Josie Meister, Nebraska Tourism Commission VISIT THE NORTHWEST Start your summer by exploring the northwestern corner of Nebraska, where scenic beauty and Old West history await. With activities such as hiking, biking and horseback riding, this is a nature lover's dream destination. Visit Fort Robinson, the largest state park in Nebraska and a former active military post. Enjoy the beauty of the surrounding buttes by horse-drawn wagon, horseback riding or in an open-top Jeep. History buffs will find the fort's many museums and restored and reconstructed exhibit buildings fascinating. Just 30 minutes east of the fort, Chadron State Park is Nebraska's oldest state park. Located in the heart of the Nebraska National Forest, hike alongside breathtaking scenery. Then wet your fishing line at Box Butte Reservoir, which features a 1,600-acre lake and 612 acres of wilderness to roam when you're finished on the water. For a view of the Nebraska horizon, visit Oglala National Grassland, the location of the Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed and unusual rock formations at Toadstool Geologic Park. History lovers will also enjoy Agate Fossil Beds, where mammals roamed 19 million years ago. High Plains Homestead is a living tribute to the Old West, featuring log buildings, roaming bison, Native American history and pottery. Then head to Belmont Tunnel, Nebraska's only rail tunnel that spans 698 feet; the last train passed through May 3, 1982. Hungry? Start your day at Bean Broker in Chadron for a specialty coffee or sweet treat and stick around for lunch to try their daily specials, featuring locally grown herbs and produce. If you're craving barbecue, try Dairy Sweet in Crawford for Texas-style smoked barbecue or Wild's Bar and Grill for a fresh cut, locally-raised ribeye. Don't forget dessert! Stop by Staab's Drive-In for a cold treat on those hot summer days. Plan your trip around northwestern Nebraska's July events. Enjoy live music, food and drinks at Chadron's Bands on Bordeaux summer concert series every Thursday of the month. Other events include Crawford's 4th of July Celebration July 3-4 and Fur Trade Days in Chadron July 10-14. Find unique accommodations at Sheepwagon Hideouts at RuJoDen Ranch or check out one of the region's many campgrounds. Chadron has several hotel options. Whether you are looking for recreational activities, beautiful scenery, or a taste of the Wild West, your first visit to northwestern Nebraska won't be the last one.

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