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The Blue River Rail Trail meanders along the course of the Big Blue River, in places meeting the water's edge and in other places straying from its banks. The rail-trail stretches between Marysville and the Nebraska state line, where it meets the Chief Standing Bear Trail. That trail continues north on the same former rail corridor to Beatrice, where it seamlessly meets the Homestead Trail. These three trails—plus the Jamaica North Trail beginning in Saltillo, Nebraska—combine to form a spectacular uninterrupted route from Marysville, Kansas, all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska.
The crushed-limestone Blue River Rail Trail passes among farmland and includes pleasant river views, wooded stretches, a covered bridge and limestone cliffs. Between Harvest Road and Frontier Road—a 2.9-mile segment—you'll encounter a canyon with 20-foot walls and a bridge offering more scenic views of the cliffs and roiling tributary of the Big Blue River. Another highlight occurs between Frontier Road and Deer Trail Road (in the farming village of Marietta), where the trail crosses a restored trestle with a steel-grid walkway.
A disconnected, concrete-surfaced section of the trail runs on the same former rail corridor farther south through the heart of Marysville. A highlight is the Pony Express monument at the segment's northern end, honoring Marysville's station on the original route of the early mail service. Be sure to check out the quaint shops on Broadway Street as well.
To access the Blue River Rail Trail, you can park at the following locations where the trail intersects the roads: Jayhawk Road and Harvest Road in Marysville; Frontier Road in Hull; Deer Trail Road in Marietta; and Mill Street in Oketo.
Parking for the paved southern segment in Marysville is available adjacent to the trail between Broadway Street and Elm Street.
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