Natural Landmarks to Visit in Nebraska
A great way to get out of the city and enjoy the natural beauty of the United States is by ranching. In Nebraska, a state dominated by the Great Plains, ranching has become extremely popular — both for tourists looking to spend a few weeks away from the city bustle and permanent residents who want to make their home there. And, just because it is mostly in the Great Plains does not mean that the entire state is simply flat, barren land.
The state was a hotbed for geological activity for millions of years, and the marks left by these changes have left some of the most fascinating natural structures and attractions in the region. When ranching in Nebraska, below is a list of the natural wonders that must be seen across the state.
To really enjoy nature, seeing animals in their own habitat, as opposed to a zoo, is one of the best ways to do it. The Valentine National Wildlife Refuge is a well-kept oasis of unique animals and other wildlife. Hundreds of species in their natural habitat is enough to keep even the most seasoned photographer on their toes.
For those more interested in historical parks, they should visit Fort Robinson State Park. Visitors are able to ride trails on horseback that the Native Americans, including Chief Crazy Horse, did as well years ago. Also, there are plenty of hiking trails for beginner and advanced participants on the various hills around the park.
Nebraska’s national wonders also include some interesting landmarks. One of the most iconic landmarks in Nebraska is Chimney Rock in Morrill. Located nearly on the western border of Nebraska, those who see Chimney Rock for the first time swear that it was chiseled by hand.
Standing 300 feet taller than the rest of the surrounding land, it really stands out and has for centuries. Pioneers and migrants who were heading further west actually used it as a landmark to know if they were going the right way. Because of its susceptibility to natural damage, the tip of the rock will continue to slowly erode, so it may not a permanent landmark. For anyone who plans on ranching in Nebraska in the near future, it is certainly something to enjoy while it is around.
Thanks to the relatively stable conditions in the state (no major water source to cause massive flooding) and ancient volcanic activity, there are a few federally protected fossil beds. In the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, visitors can see the original cabin where the excavations occurred. Around this monument are thousands of acres of used for cattle ranching. In Nebraska, the most impressive fossil bed is the Ashfall Fossil Bed National Monument, where visitors can see what is actually an active, ongoing excavation effort.
Clearly, there is plenty of natural landmarks to enjoy as a visitor or resident of Nebraska. The natural landmarks have millions of years of history held within them, from prehistoric to the days of the pioneers.