Recreation

ATVs Along the Byway

There are 50-plus miles of trails at the Nebraska National Forest – Bessey Ranger District near Halsey. Motorcycles and ATVs are restricted to designated trails. To help keep the trails open, please stay on the trails. More information about the ATV trails at the Nebraska National Forest may be found at:  http://www.nohva.com.

Hiking and Biking Along the Byway

There are many opportunities to hike and bike all along the byway. Beautiful scenery, wildlife and gently rolling hills…the perfect place to get outside and enjoy nature at its best! Click on a community below to view places to hike and bike in that area.

Hunting and Fishing Along the Byway

A wide variety of hunting and trapping is available in Nebraska. Permits for hunting in Nebraska can be obtained at www.outdoornebraska.org and in 2006 the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission established new, 2-day permits for nonresidents. Residents do not need a permit to hunt some mammals such as coyotes, but nonresidents must have a hunting permit. Two-day permits are available at www.outdoornebraska.org.

About 180,000 acres of private land enrolled in the deferral Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are open to public walk-in hunting through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Conservation Reserve Program – Management Access Program. Some of these CRP acres are located along the Byway. An atlas detailing CRP-MAP sites is available from Commission offices, permit agents and online at www.outdoornebraska.org.  Permission of the landowner is required to hunt on private  lands.

State wayside areas, hatcheries and reserves, and state and federal refuges, unless otherwise posted, are closed to hunting. Hunting from any roadway or highway, including the right-of-way, is not allowed. Not only is shooting from a road illegal, it is unsafe. Nebraska Game and Parks reports that one-eighth of all hunting-related accidents reported in Nebraska involve both a gun and a vehicle. The Byway organization joins others in reporting game violations that they witness to Nebraska Wildlife Crime Stoppers at 1-800-742-7627.

For hunting and fishing locations in specific areas, please see the community pages.

Public Lands Along the Byway

Nebraska is divided into sections with Public Hunting Lands identified. Across Nebraska there are nearly 800,000 acres on about 300 state and federal areas. Most of the land is owned by the federal government. Nebraska’s public hunting lands comprise just two percent of the state’s total land area. Most hunting is done on private land where permission is required.

Star Gazing Along the Byway

One can expect exceptionally dark skies along portions of the Byway. Much of the Sandhills is considered remote and sparsely populated, yielding high visibility of the night skies and awesome spectacles that the Milky Way Galaxy produces. Because of elevation around 2,500 feet and the dry nature of the region, the haze is low and the transparency high, creating excellent star gazing opportunities. The Prairie Astronomy Club of Nebraska holds its Nebraska Star Party at Merritt Reservoir (65 miles north of the Byway) during the new moon cycle in July each year.

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TitleCategoryAddressDescription
Ravenna Lake 1 mile southeast of Ravenna, north of Nebraska Highway 2, Ravenna, NE
Laing Lake ATVs North Edge of Alliance, Alliance, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation ATVs 6 miles east of Anselmo, Anselmo, NE
Ansley Lake ATVs west edge of town off Nebraska Highway 2, Ansley, NE
Arnold Lake State Recreation Area ATVs Nebraska Highway 92, Arnold, NE
Melham Park Lake ATVs Northeast Broken Bow, Broken Bow, NE
Middle Loup River ATVs Dunning, NE May be seen from the byway in several locations between Dunning and Seneca., Dunning, NE
Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District) ATVs PO Box 39, Halsey, NE
Sherman Reservoir ATVs 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Double R Guest Ranch ATVs 86091 Double R Drive, Mullen, NE
Ravenna Lake ATVs 1 mile southeast of Ravenna, north of Nebraska Highway 2, Ravenna, NE
Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House ATVs 40203 Highway 2, Thedford, NE Fully furnished guest house. Sleeps up to nine people.
Cornhusker Wildlife Area ATVs,Hiking and Biking,Hunting and Fishing,Star Gazing Old Potash Highway, Grand Island, NE 68803 1/2 mile south on Country Road
Mullen Golf Club Golf 36544 West Highway 2, Mullen, NE Good game, great view!
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Hiking and Biking 43400 Hwy S21A, Anselmo, NE
Ansley Lake Hiking and Biking west edge of town off Nebraska Highway 2, Ansley, NE
Arnold Lake State Recreation Area Hiking and Biking Nebraska Highway 92, Arnold, NE
Arnold Recreation Area Hiking and Biking PO Box 70, Arnold, NE
Melham Park Lake Hiking and Biking Northeast Broken Bow, Broken Bow, NE
Dowse Riverview Homestead & Dowse Sod House Hiking and Biking 80560 Oak Grove Road, Comstock, NE
Middle Loup River Hiking and Biking Dunning, NE May be seen from the byway in several locations between Dunning and Seneca., Dunning, NE
Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Hiking and Biking 10630 Rd 181, Ellsworth, NE Endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors!
Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Hiking and Biking 10630 Road 181, Ellsworth, NE Endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors!
Morman Island State Recreation Area Hiking and Biking 7425 S. US Highway 281, Grand Island, NE
Mormon Island State Recreation Area Hiking and Biking Interchange I-80 Exit 312, Grand Island, NE
Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center Hiking and Biking 9325 S. Alda Road, Grand Island, NE Nature tours.
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer Hiking and Biking 3133 W. Highway 34, Grand Island, NE
Townsley-Murdock Immigrant Trail Site Hiking and Biking 2424 S. Locust Street, Ste C, Grand Island, NE
Halsey Hike/Bike Trail Hiking and Biking Halsey, NE A paved hiking/biking trail connecting the community of Halsey with the Nebraska National Forest-Bessey Ranger District main campground.
Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District) Hiking and Biking PO Box 39, Halsey, NE
Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Division Hiking and Biking 1 mile west of Halsey on Nebraska Hwy 2, Halsey, NE
Avocet Wildlife Management Area Hiking and Biking 1/2 mile east of Hyannis on Nebraska Highway 2, Hyannis, NE
De Fair Lake Wildlife Management Area Hiking and Biking 2 miles south of Hyannis on Nebraska Highway 61, 1/4 mile east, Hyannis, NE
Bowman Lake State Recreation Area Hiking and Biking Loup City, NE 1/2 mile west of Loup City. Boating and fishing area. Park permit required. $6 camping fee.
Sherman Reservoir Hiking and Biking 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Sherman Reservoir SRA/WMA Hiking and Biking 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area Hiking and Biking 79025 Sherman Dam Rd, Loup City, NE 4 miles east, 1 mile north of Loup City on asphalt road – Reservoir offers nearly 5,000 acres of land and 3,000 acres of water for almost every type of outdoor activity. Park permit required. Camping fee $6 per night.
Dismal River Hiking and Biking Mullen, NE
Double R Guest Ranch Hiking and Biking 86091 Double R Drive, Mullen, NE
Pressey Wildlife Management Area Hiking and Biking 5 miles north of Oconto on Nebreska Highway 21, Oconto, NE
Ravenna Lake Hiking and Biking 1 mile southeast of Ravenna, north of Nebraska Highway 2, Ravenna, NE
Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House Hiking and Biking 40203 Highway 2, Thedford, NE Fully furnished guest house. Sleeps up to nine people.
Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Hiking and Biking HC 14 Box 67, Valentine, NE
Centura Hills Golf Hiking and Biking 41.0063989,-98.60582369999997 The course is located 13 miles west of Grand Island on Highway 2, then ¼ miles north on Highway 11, turn right on Centura Hills Drive. The 18-Hole course provides an excellent countryside golf experience. It was designed and built by Marty Johnson. The first 9 holes were constructed in 1996 and the new 9 hole addition was completed in 2007.
Central Park Foundation Hiking and Biking,Hunting and Fishing,Star Gazing Alliance, NE PO Box D
Smith Lake Hiking and Biking,Hunting and Fishing,Star Gazing,Water Sports Lakeside, NE 26 miles north of Lakeside
Laing Lake Hunting and Fishing north edge of Alliance, Alliance, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing 43400 Hwy S21A, Anselmo, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing 6 miles east of Anselmo, Anselmo, NE
Ansley Lake Hunting and Fishing west edge of town off Nebraska Highway 2, Ansley, NE
Arnold Lake State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing 1 mile souith of Arnold on Nebraska Highway 40 or Nebraska Hwy 92, Arnold, NE
Arnold Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing PO Box 70, Arnold, NE
Melham Park Lake Hunting and Fishing Northeast Broken Bow, Broken Bow, NE
Dowse Riverview Homestead & Dowse Sod House Hunting and Fishing 80560 Oak Grove Rd, Comstock, NE
Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing 10630 Rd 181, Ellsworth, NE Endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors!
Morgan’s Store Hunting and Fishing P.O. Box 27, Ellsworth, NE Do not miss the Old Spade Ranch Store in Ellsworth. Wade Morgan’s Cowpoke Haven. Hunting and Fishing Supplies & Guns. Everything from Candles, Spices, Books and Zippo Lighters to Carhartt and Wrangler clothing. Boots, Tack, Saddles, Knives and Guns. Antiques cover the walls. Well worth the stop.
Heartland Public Shooting Park Hunting and Fishing 6788 W. Husker Highway , Grand Island, NE
Morman Island State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing 7425 S. US Highway 281, Grand Island, NE Nature fun for the whole family.
Mormon Island State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing Interchange I-80 Exit 312, Grand Island, NE
Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District) Hunting and Fishing PO Box 39, Halsey, NE
Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Division Hunting and Fishing 1 mile west of Halsey on Nebraska Hwy 2, Halsey, NE
Avocet Wildlife Management Area Hunting and Fishing 1/2 mile east of Hyannis on Nebraska Highway 2, Hyannis, NE
De Fair Lake Wildlife Management Area Hunting and Fishing 2 miles south of Hyannis on Nebraska Highway 61, 1/4 mile east, Hyannis, NE
Sheridan County Hunting and Fishing Lakeside, NE Welcome to Sheridan County, Nebraska, where legends, railroads and the Old West create a unique historical adventure. An adventure you must see and experience to believe! Allow your senses to fully experience Sheridan County. Feel the tranquility of nature. Enjoy our wide-open spaces, brilliant blue skies and star-filled nights. Know the pleasures of pure country life. Legendary figures such as Chief Crazy Horse, Buffalo Bill Cody, ‘Old Jules’, Bartlett Richards, and Mari Sandoz saw the hidden charm of this land. You can see it by starting your adventure here.
Bowman Lake State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing 1/2 mile west of Loup City, Loup City, NE Boating and fishing area. Park permit required. $6 camping fee.
Sherman Reservoir Hunting and Fishing 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Sherman Reservoir SRA/WMA Hunting and Fishing 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area Hunting and Fishing 79025 Sherman Dam Rd, Loup City, NE 4 miles east, 1 mile north of Loup City on asphalt road – Reservoir offers nearly 5,000 acres of land and 3,000 acres of water for almost every type of outdoor activity. Park permit required. Camping fee $6 per night.
Dismal River Hunting and Fishing Mullen, NE
Double R Guest Ranch Hunting and Fishing 86091 Double R Drive, Mullen, NE
Mullen Shooting Range Hunting and Fishing Mullen, NE
Pressey Wildlife Management Area Hunting and Fishing 5 miles north of Oconto on Nebreska Hwy 21, Oconto, NE
Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House Hunting and Fishing 40203 Highway 2, Thedford, NE Fully furnished guest house. Sleeps up to nine people.
Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing HC 14 Box 67, Valentine, NE
Dobby’s Frontier Town Star Gazing 325 E. 25th Street, Alliance, NE Step back in time to the turn-of-the-century and see what life was like for the early settlers of the plains. With an authentic general store, post office, original bootlegger’s cabin and baled straw house. Fall festival features assorted hands-on exhibits. 308-762-4321. http://www.dobbysfrontiertown.com/
Laing Lake Star Gazing north edge of Alliance, Alliance, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Star Gazing 43400 Hwy S21A, Anselmo, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Star Gazing 6 miles east of Anselmo, Anselmo, NE
Ansley Lake Star Gazing West edge of town off Nebraska Highway 2, Ansley, NE
Arnold Lake State Recreation Area Star Gazing Nebraska Highway 92, Arnold, NE
Arnold Recreation Area Star Gazing PO Box 70, Arnold, NE
Melham Park Lake Star Gazing Northeast Broken Bow, Broken Bow, NE
Dowse Riverview Homestead & Dowse Sod House Star Gazing 80560 Oak Grove Road, Comstock, NE
Middle Loup River Star Gazing Dunning, NE May be seen from the byway in several locations between Dunning and Seneca., Dunning, NE
Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Star Gazing 10630 Road 181, Ellsworth, NE Endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors!
Cedar Hills Vineyard Star Gazing 48970 375th Road, Grand Island, NE Enjoy this picturesque vinyard with an outstanding view and various products.
Morman Island State Recreation Area Star Gazing 7425 S. US Highway 281, Grand Island, NE Nature fun for the whole family.
Mormon Island State Recreation Area Star Gazing Interchange I-80 Exit 312, Grand Island, NE
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer Star Gazing 3133 W. Hwy 34, Grand Island, NE
Townsley-Murdock Immigrant Trail Site Star Gazing 2424 S. Locust St, Ste C, Grand Island, NE
Veterans Park & Memorial Wall Star Gazing 2424 S. Locust St, Ste C, Grand Island, NE
Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District) Star Gazing PO Box 39, Halsey, NE TEL 308 533-2257
Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Division Star Gazing 1 mile west of Halsey on Nebraska Hwy 2, Halsey, NE
De Fair Lake Wildlife Management Area Star Gazing 2 miles south of Hyannis on Nebraska Highway 61, 1/4 mile east, Hyannis, NE
Sherman Reservoir Star Gazing 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Sherman Reservoir SRA/WMA Star Gazing 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Pressey Wildlife Management Area Star Gazing 5 miles north of Oconto on Nebreska Highway 21, Oconto, NE
Ravenna Lake Star Gazing 1 mile southeast of Ravenna, north of Nebraska Highway 2, Ravenna, NE
Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House Star Gazing 40203 Highway 2, Thedford, NE Fully furnished guest house. Sleeps up to nine people.
Potash Ruins Train Watching Antioch, NE The potash industry at one time created a thriving community in the Antioch area. For more information on this community, visit the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance.
Laing Lake Water Sports north edge of Alliance, Alliance, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Water Sports 43400 Highway S21A, Anselmo, NE
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Water Sports 6 miles east of Anselmo, Anselmo, NE
Ansley Lake Water Sports west edge of town off Nebraska Highway 2, Ansley, NE
Melham Park Lake Water Sports Northeast Broken Bow, Broken Bow, NE
Middle Loup River Water Sports Dunning, NE May be seen from the byway in several locations between Dunning and Seneca.
Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Water Sports 10630 Road 181, Ellsworth, NE Endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors!
Island Oasis Water Park Water Sports 100 E. First Street., Grand Island, NE Water fun the whole family can enjoy.
Morman Island State Recreation Area Water Sports 7425 S. US Highway 281, Grand Island, NE
Nebraska National Forest (Bessey Ranger District) Water Sports PO Box 39, Halsey, NE
Bowman Lake State Recreation Area Water Sports Loup City, NE 1/2 mile west of Loup City. Boating and fishing area. Park permit required. $6 camping fee.
Sherman Reservoir Water Sports 4 miles east of Loup City, Loup City, NE
Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area Water Sports 79025 Sherman Dam Road, Loup City, NE 4 miles east, 1 mile north of Loup City on asphalt road – Reservoir offers nearly 5,000 acres of land and 3,000 acres of water for almost every type of outdoor activity. Park permit required. Camping fee $6 per night.
Dismal River Water Sports Mullen, NE
Glidden Canoe Rental Water Sports 507 SW 1st Street, Mullen, NE
Public Outdoor Swimming Pool Water Sports 302 S McShane Ave, Mullen, NE Fun way to cool off during the hot summer months!
Ravenna Lake Water Sports 1 mile southeast of Ravenna, north of Nebraska Highway 2, Ravenna, NE
Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House Water Sports 40203 Highway 2, Thedford, NE Fully furnished guest house. Sleeps up to nine people.
Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Water Sports HC 14 Box 67, Valentine, NE