Valentine’s newest addition. The Cowboy Trail trailhead on main street will greet you with these adorable bikes. Rent 1 for a couple hours. Follow the cowboy trail out East of town to the railroad bridge or just downtown to do some shopping. Valentine Bike share is the first of it’s kind being the most rural bike share in state.
The Cherry County skies are a canvas of the brightest stars you have ever seen. The lack of light pollution and the tranquil and quiet surroundings make it the ideal place view the night sky. This is why Merritt Reservoir south of Valentine has been home to the Nebraska Star Party for over 25 years. Come see for yourself.
By the river. By a lake. In the woods. In town. Close to town. Cherry County has no shortage of camping spots and electrical hook ups. Look here to see all of your options!
Valentine City Park – restrooms & Showers – No hook ups.
Cottonwood Lake: Primitive camping – No Hook ups
Woodlake Village Park – Water & Electric
South Dakota Border:
Rosebud Casino: Overnight RV Camping Available
Choose from the many local outfitters to experience the Niobrara River by Kayak, Canoe, Tube or Tank. It is sure to be a trip you will never forget and will keep you coming back!
Choose Your Outfitter
Niobrara River Outfitters:
Dryland Aquatics – 402-376-3119 – 1-800-337-3119 – https://drylandaquatics.com/
Sharp’s Tubes and Canoes – 402-376-2506 – https://sharpsoutfitters.com/
Graham Canoe Outfitters – 402-376-3708 – 1-800-322-3708 – http://www.grahamoutfitters.com/
Little Outlaw Canoe and Tube – 402-376-1822 – https://outlawcanoe.com/
Brewer’s Canoers and Tubers – 402-376-2046 – 1-800-346-2046 – https://www.brewerscanoers.com/
Heartland Tubes – 402-389-1964 – https://www.heartlandtubes.com/
Niobrara River Ranch – 402-890-1245 –https://nrranch.com/
Stan’s Landing – 402-700-3791- https://www.campniobrara.com/
Rocky Ford Outfitters – 402-497-3479 – https://rockyfordcampandoutfitters.com/rentals
Rock Barn Outfitters – 1-800-335-6252 – http://www.rockbarnoutfitters.com/
Prairie River Outfitters & Sunnybrook Camp – 402-376-1887
Nyobrafting – Nenzel, NE – 402-389-2242 – https://2theendsoftheearth.com/
Outback Canoers – Nenzel, NE – 402-376-1632
Middle Loup & Dismal River Outfitters:
Glidden Canoe Rentals – Mullen, NE – 308-546-2206 – http://www.sandhillsmotel.com/ off season, 402-376-2503
The Sandhills of Nebraska, the quiet beauty of the state. Covering 19,000 square miles, it is the largest tract of stabilized sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere. Considered an inhospitable desert by early settlers, the Sandhills instead proved to be prime rangeland for raising cattle. The lush grasslands are nourished by the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest groundwater sources in the world. The grassy hills rise up to 400 feet and can be as long as 20 miles. While other parts of the world scream beauty, the Sandhills whisper.
Nestled in the Sandhills and bordering Merritt Reservoir, this 115,000-acre forest offers many outdoor activities. The word forest is used somewhat loosely in this case, as only 5,000 acres of the forest are actually wooded. The remaining 110,000 acres are rolling sandhills. The area is open to hunting in season, offering excellent upland game bird, waterfowl, and deer hunting. Hiking, biking, fishing, and bird watching are also popular in this area. Steer Creek Campground offers beautiful and secluded campsites in the pines of the forest.
The Prairie Club, just 17 miles south of Valentine, offers two world class golf courses plus a challenging par 3 course called the Horse Course. The Dunes Course, designed by golf pro Tom Lehman, is a tribute to all the links style courses he has played in his career.
Set in the rolling Sandhills, this course offers a challenge to all levels of golfers with wide fairways, an array of sand traps, and natural grasses of the hills for the rough. If you enjoy a course with more trees, the Pines Course weaves in and out of the Snake River valley with many spectacular vistas along the way. The Prairie Club Lodge has great dining, a golf shop, and overnight accommodations. The course is semi-private but avid golfers always have a chance to experience these beautiful courses.
- Phone: 888-402-1101
- Website: Visit Website
This 72,000-acre refuge is set in a beautiful combination of rolling sandhills and pristine spring-fed lakes. Nine of the lakes are open to fishing year-round, offering bass, northern pike, perch, and bluegill. Fishing hours are sunup to sundown, and only electric motors are allowed. The refuge is also home to great hunting habitat and is well-known for its sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chicken populations. Deer, pheasant, and waterfowl hunting are allowed in season. Waterfowl hunting is limited, so check with the refuge for its game regulations.
If just enjoying the peace and quiet is what you prefer, there is plenty of space for hiking, including a self-guided interpretive trail. Spectacular bird watching awaits as well. During their annual migration, thousands of ducks and geese stop to feed. In April and May, photo blinds are placed on prairie chicken and sharp tailed grouse booming grounds.
Located just northeast of Valentine in a pine-covered valley, the Valentine Fish Hatchery is one of five hatcheries in the state. Spread over 700 acres, the hatchery handles millions of fish eggs annually. In most years, lakes in Cherry County alone are stocked with some 675,000 fish.
Just to the north, Government Canyon—a 640 acre area—offers prime wildlife habitat and activities including hiking, biking, bird watching, and hunting in specified areas.
- Phone: (402) 376-2244
- Website: Visit Website
(Currently closed until further Notice) – Privately owned and the group has chose not to open at this time. Among Nebraska’s most spectacular waterfalls, Snake River Falls tumbles over a 54 foot wide ledge and flows 12 miles to the Niobrara River. When the Snake River is full, it is the largest waterfall in Nebraska by volume. The waterfall is located 23 miles southwest of Valentine on Highway 97. Only 3 miles from Merritt Reservoir. Because access to the falls is on private property, it is not well marked. Your turn will be on the west side of the road about a 1/4 of a mile after the canal crosses the highway. Watch for a large water tank and a few trees. This will be your cue to turn.
You can view the falls from trails on both sides of the Snake Falls Sportsman’s Club building. Admission is only $1.00, and there is a pay box in front of the Sportsman’s Club building. Please be respectful of the property when you visit. We are privileged to be able to have this beautiful sight open to public access, and would appreciate every effort to adhere to all posted restrictions.
- Phone: 800-658-4024
- Website: Visit Website