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Find the top rated atv trails in Columbus, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I love the empty beauty of the Sandhills and you feel you're out in the middle of nowhere riding east from Valentine, on a stretch where the trail veers away from the road.
I rode my hybrid 16 miles out and then back (to the big cell tower where the trail rejoins the road). There's been some ATV travel on the trail, but generally the surface was good. I met a cyclist or two close to Valentine, but that was it.
On warm days, take plenty of water - there's little shade to be had.
I rode 25 miles out and 25 miles back from Valentine, to Wood Lake. The Niobrara trestle is spectacular and only a couple of miles outside Valentine. The grass was green and the sunflowers in bloom. The people at the motel where I stayed let me park my car. I went in late August after viewing the eclipse over in Wyoming. The weather was hot and humid and very windy (headwind going out). Coming back the wind was lighter, but still a headwind (!) I camped at Wood Lake (pop 60) in the town park (no fee, no one will bother you, rest rooms, picnic tables, shade trees, grass to pitch a tent, electric hookups, excellent drinking water, small playground for kids). The only person I met was the Post Mistress who was helpful and friendly. The cafe is closed, contrary to the trail guide. I was told there is a lady who serves coffee, out by the highway, but the town felt like a ghost town, except for a couple of friendly dogs who came over. I met no one else. Trail conditions were sandy in places and sometimes weedy with washboards where the farmers had used the trail as a road, despite "no motor vehicles" signs. Usually I could avoid the washboards by riding in the center or edge of trail. This is NOT a manicured trail, at least at the western end. I used semi-fat mountain bike tires (26x2.5" Surly Extraterrestrials) with Flat Attack sealer because of thorns and had no trouble with flats or in places where the sand was several inches deep. I rode a few miles on the parallel highway which has good shoulders and is smoothly paved with very light traffic. The places where the trail veers from the highway are the most interesting and scenic; the parts that parallel the highway are a bit boring. I met no other cyclists except within five miles of Valentine. Along the trail I saw two garter snakes, horses, a turtle, a frog, songbirds, ducks, and birds of prey. The Cowboy Trail lacks the social component that more popular trails have. It presents a solitary and perhaps more peaceful experience because there are so few users. One amenity it lacks that more popular trails have are the rest areas with shelters every so often that also serve as gathering places for trail users to meet and swap stories. In between towns there is really no place to get out of the weather and rest or eat a snack unless you sit on the ground. I only explored the western end so perhaps the middle and eastern end have more facilities. The Cowboy is a very long trail and would make a good alternative to highways if you were planning on biking across the whole country.
When you write a review its useful to know what kind of bike.700 would probably suck. While a 29 would make the ride easy.
Road from Valparaiso to Brainard and back. We saw about 6 other bikers and a few walkers/joggers. Total of about 10 people the entire ride. Trail is in great shape. Some of the intersections with county roads have a lot of loose gravel, but other than that, no issues. Stopped for a burger and a beer at Husker Bar II in Brainard. Had a great time on this ride.
My son and I drove up from Omaha to Norfolk and on to Long Pine for a biking, hiking, fishing weekend. Only rode the trail from Norfolk west for 5 miles, about halfway to Battle Creek. That part of the trail was very nice - 2 miles of concrete and 3 miles of pea gravel. Nice bridge over the Elkhorn River. However, further west the trail parallels Hwys. 275 & 20. We could see a lot of it from the road as we drove and the further west we drove, the worse it looked. There were sections where it was almost completely overgrown with weeds. Would not want to ride there at all. It's too bad, this could be a very nice trail, but central sections are very neglected if maintained at all. Hence, the 3 star rating.
This trail has great potential but is just flat out ignored, poorly maintained never open all the way through and very rarely traveled without a flat tire, bring a spare or patches.
This is a beautiful walk with a little bit of each kind of scenery found in Nebraska. Past corn fields, ranches, and prairie, you'll want a hat for the sun, but there are also beautiful areas of forest with welcome shade. The surfacing still reaches no further south than SR 66. After that all the way to Marquette, you have to walk on old railroad gravel, a little uncomfortable to the feet, but to many, worth it for the views and serenity.
There is also a lot of wildlife to see along the trail. I saw hawks, deer, rabbits, chipmunks, butterflies, and numerous kinds of songbirds. Of course, the farm animals are present; don't miss the miniature horses that you can see from the trail near Marquette. In season, the wildflowers are a treat as well.
There was active preparation for lengthening the upgraded surfacing when I went through. The main down side to the trail at this time is walking on the big sharp gravel of the old railroad bed. Google Maps needs to catch up with the fact that it's no longer a railroad south of the country club into Marquette.
Crushed white rock surface from the trailhead east of the high school to the Hwy 66 crossing, about two miles. Past that, even walking would be challenging. You might be able to ride a fat bike from Hwy 66 to Hwy 14 but that might even be tough. This is still a beautiful trail and the Bader Bridge is outstanding! Lots of work to be done. Who ever got it this far deserves a big round of applause! I hope the debris along the bridge can get pulled out before it takes out the bridge.
Beautiful, peaceful trail. The scenery changes from a treelined trail with steep drop-offs, to hilly fields and old buildings. There is plenty of wildlife to enjoy as well. We enjoyed our tours through Brainard and Loma, which included the old Czech dance hall and the beautiful catholic churches.
this is a beautiful nature trail, connecting 3 great small towns and now that the Loma Tavern (which is on facebook) is open with its many bands, food, and cold pivo it makes this trail so much better for all
I've used biking as a means to escape reality and exercise over the last couple of years. Living in Lincoln is very convenient as there are trails everywhere. When I have an hour or two to kill I can easily go out and enjoy the outdoors. One thing I've really been hung up on is isolation. I want to really get away and this trail is perfect.
About 20 minutes away is Valparaso. Nice little town where our trail starts. There is a gas station that will be your best bet to get a drink or a snack. Starting here on my Cannondale CX-2 I will pace myself.
The ride has a slight incline most of the way and you'll feel it most of the 13 miles. All crushed rock, my brothers road bike seemed to handle it just fine. Loma has an operating bathroom at just over 7 miles. I usually take 45 minutes each way. I highly advise you bring a tube, because you'll be walking otherwise should you get a flat. This is true isolation.
There is no place I'd rather go than this trail. You will feel alone and in the wild. I've chased turkey, squirrels, deer, rabbits, and a badger. (Not the best decision to chase a badger) Val to Loma feels like the woods and Loma to Brainard will give you the great plains. I usually take this trip as the sun is setting. It is absolutely beautiful at this time. Yes, I'm that guy biking in the dead of night.
To wrap this up, this trail is the best therapy. You will feel alone and at one with the elements in the wild. I rarely see anyone, especially at night. Been taking this trail lately atleast twice a week. Couldn't ask for anything better and within 20 miles of my home. Make sure and support the local businesses. There is a hydrant in Brainard to refill your water and a bar. Check the hours if you plan to stop before. :)
Limestone installation is not yet finished between 28th St in Central City and Hwy 66. A hard surface should be in place by mid-July pending acceptable weather. It's still not ready for bikes or strollers.
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