Nebraska's Oak Creek Trail, occupying a former Union Pacific Railroad corridor in the eastern part of the state, is about as rural a trail as you will find in the United States. While the trail is only about 1 hour from both Omaha and Lincoln (Nebraska's two largest cities), it connects two towns with populations of less than 600 with little development in between.
The rural environment of the Oak Creek Trail makes for beautiful scenery. Begin your journey at the trail's northern endpoint in Brainard. Outside of the town, the trail follows the top of a picturesque ridge. For the next several miles, natural prairie stretches as far as the eye can see.
Just north of the trail's midpoint, trail users enter the tiny community of Loma. Restrooms are located just off the trail near St. Luke's Czech Catholic Shrineestablished by Czech immigrants in 1911in the center of town.
The rest of the route continues through natural prairie, open farmland and oak woodlands until the trail reaches its endpoint at the trailhead in the town of Valparaiso. Support local businesses at the end of your ride or run, and stop in for a bite to eat at one of the town's restaurants.
Horse trailer parking can be found at Valparaiso's trailhead; an equestrian trail runs adjacent to the Oak Creek Trail for its entire route.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking for the Oak Creek Trail can be found at the trailhead in Valparaiso at the intersection of State Route 79 and W. 3rd Street. In Loma, park at the lot off County Road W in the center of town. At the trail's northern endpoint in Brainard, a small parking lot can be found at the intersection of County Road 30 and S. Lincoln Street.
Oak Creek Trail
My husband and I rode the trail from Valparaiso to Brainard & back again (approx. 27 miles) on June 8th 2012. A lovely, well groomed trail. The vegetation (weeds) at trailside was nicely mowed. Lots of wildlife to view along the way including white tailed ...
This ain't no citified trail!
The crushed limestone surface is as cushy as it gets. You will dodge large animal burrows, horse pucky, and washouts. You will smell living animals, and dead ones. Farmers will keep an eye on you, and so will the cows.
It is true that some road crossings ...
Oak Creek Trail
My husband and I used the Oak Creek Trail for the first time this past 4th of July weekend (Sun., July 5th). We took out our Terra Trikes, which have 3 mountain bike type tires. It was a perfect length of trail for us, and we loved the countryside. From ...