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The Chief Standing Bear Trail spans 22.9 miles from the southeast Nebraska town of Beatrice to the Nebraska/Kansas state line. It's named after a Ponca chief and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska owns the trail. The Homestead Conservation and Trail Association maintains the route.
The crushed-stone pathway follows the Blue River through a mix of rolling farmland, native prairie grasses and lush tree-canopied sections, where you might see deer, hawks, raccoons, wild turkeys and other animals. Trailheads in Beatrice, Holmesville, Blue Springs and Barneston offer signage on the local wildlife, pioneers and the Ponca Tribe.
On the trail's north end in Beatrice, it will connect to the Homestead Trail, which travels 40 miles north to Lincoln. The southern end of the Chief Standing Bear Trail connects to another rail-trail over the border; the Blue River Rail Trail heads south along the same former railroad corridor for nearly 12 miles to Marysville, Kansas.
At the trail's northern end in Beatrice, parking is available at the trailhead for the Homestead Trail at the intersection of Court Street and 2nd Street.
In Holmesville, parking and restrooms can be found on E. Linden Road. The same are available on E. Borad Street and S. 59th Street near Blue Springs.
Towards the trail's southern end, trailside restrooms are available just south of Barneston. A campground will also be constructed there in the future.
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