Kearney Hike and Bike Trail

Nebraska

Kearney Hike and Bike Trail Facts

States: Nebraska
Counties: Buffalo, Kearney
Length: 12.7 miles
Trail end points: Cottonmill Park and Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016471
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Kearney Hike and Bike Trail Description

The Kearney Hike and Bike Trail spans nearly 13 paved miles through western and southern Kearney, Nebraska. The trail links neighborhoods and businesses with parks and historical sites throughout the city. Along the way, you’ll find scenic urban views and numerous amenities.

The westernmost section of the trail is known as “The Links” for the two golf courses that it passes on its journey between Cottonmill Lake and W. Railroad Street. At Cottonmill Park, you’ll find picnic shelters, swimming and fishing opportunities, and a playground. In winter, cross-country skiing, sledding, ice skating, and ice fishing are also popular activities here. From the park, the trail travels nearly 3 miles along the Nebraska Public Power District canal and through the University of Nebraska’s Kearney campus.

Midway—between golf courses—a 4-mile, C-shaped spur of the trail known as “Eagle Loop” largely parallels 30th Avenue and provides travelers with access to Ted Baldwin Park (north end of the trail) and West Linconway Park (south end).

Shortly after traversing the university campus, the trail dives under an active railroad and heads south toward Kenwood Elementary School. This short, 1-mile section is known locally as the “Tailrace Trail.” Cross W. 11th Street at the crosswalk to pick up the next trail section.

This segment is known as “Betty’s Trail” after Betty Connell, who allowed this portion of trail to cross her land. It begins at Yanney Park, where you can access additional trails, picnic areas, an observation tower, amphitheater, wetlands and gardens, a playground, and a splash park. The trail continues nearly 2 miles east to 2nd Avenue along a tree-lined canal.

At 2nd Avenue, you can seamlessly connect to the next section of the trail known as “Pioneer’s Path.” This section continues eastward through wetland areas for 3 miles to the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the following locations (from west to east):

  • Cottonmill Park (2795 Cottonmill Avenue); restrooms as well
  • Ted Baldwin Park (19th Avenue at 49th Street)
  • West Lincolnway Park (30th Avenue north of La Crosse Drive)
  • Yanney Heritage Park (2020 W. 11th Street); restrooms as well
  • Great Platte River Road Archway Monument (3060 East 1st Street; access is via 1st Street)



Kearney Hike and Bike Trail Reviews

This trail is a gem. It crosses the Platte River twice on beautiful bridges. There are shelters with seating along the trail. We even saw a couple of deer running beside us. The trail leaves from the Ft. Kearney Campground and the campground hosts lend campers bicycles for free.

OK, my previous estimate was off a bit. The actual length of the trail from Ft Kearny trail head to Cottonmill Park trail head is 26.98 mi round trip. Your mileage may vary, especially if you take the time to ride through either/both parks.

Also, the Kearney Hike/Bike Trail is much more than just these two end points. There are many branches off the main line that take you around and through the Kearney area, including Harvey Park, Baldwin Park and Yanney Park.

Enjoy.

The trail is complete from Ft Kearny to Cottonmill Park. Approximately 16 miles, one way.

Accordion

Ride this trail today. It's in great shape.

As per the previous comment, you can't ride to Fort Kearny, but you can ride to the Platte River Road Archway which is worth a stop.

The trail section that curves along the canal is particularly nice.

You can't get to Fort Kearney on this trail!

I like to bring my kids on this trail. Depending where you start you end at the movie theatre or the park! Win, win.

What a wonderful trail this is. Have ridden it many times. Have enjoyed seeing runners, walkers, families and dedicated cyclists on this trail. The trail is very well maintained. Grasses are mowed on both sides. Fun going under highways and train tracks. Even when it is windy - you don't really notice.

Kearney is doing a fine job on Trails. Stop and get the “A guide to Kearney Trails“.
You can ride from Cottonmill Park N40.70252 W99.14269 , 8.78 mile along a Canal by Golf Courses, Spillway Park and UNK. South along the Canal, through a railroad underpass to Yanney Park Trailhead. Over the Canal & east through the woods to Hotel Row 2nd Ave underpass & 3.13 miles to the “Great Platte River Road Archway Monument” over I-80. N40.67036 W99.03970 , Plans to extend trail 4.5 miles to Fort Kearny.
Very smooth Concrete Surface. Go through UNKearney by Spillway Park and get a view of the Platt River Valley. Pedal in & around Yanney Park, climb the Gottschalk Tower for a 360 degree view. Go north 2 miles over the hill on wavy trail along 30th Ave and east to Lighthouse Point Lake. Enjoy the History of the area. Parking & restrooms at Cottonmill Park, Yanney Trailhead & Archway Monument. Noel Keller 3 Oct 09

Short but nice trail. Not much shade. Be careful if you get off the trail though because there are lots of stickers. Just on the short ride to the end of the trail and back 3 or the 4 bikes got thorns through the tires.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Johnson Lake Hike and Bike Trail

Nebraska - 10.3 miles

The Johnson Lake Hike and Bike Trail is a 10-mile loop around a popular recreational lake in central Nebraska located about 10 miles south of...

Shoemaker Trail

Nebraska - 1.9 miles

The Shoemaker Trail gets its name from Shoemaker Elementary School where the path begins. Travelling north and passing Westridge Middle School, it...

St. Joe Trail

Nebraska - 2.91 miles

The St. Joe Trail in Grand Island, Nebraska, runs for nearly 3 miles from its connection with the John Brownell Trail at Ada Street to its southern...

Accordion

Riverway Trail

Nebraska - 4.5 miles

Starting at the George Clayton Hall County Park, The Riverway Trail is a straight and flat 4-mile trail, traveling east towards the Platte River....

State Street Trail

Nebraska - 0.9 miles

The State Street Trail is just under a mile and located northwest in Grand Island. The trail goes east, crossing over Highway 2. It is also connected...

John Brownell Trail (Beltline Trail)

Nebraska - 2.72 miles

The John Brownell Trail, also known as the Beltline Trail, runs for nearly 2.75 miles through residential neighborhoods on an abandoned rail corridor...

Dannebrog Trail

Nebraska - 3 miles

The first mile of the Dannebrog Trail, which completely encircles the town known as the Danish Capital of Nebraska, was paved in late September 1993....

South Locust Street Trail

Nebraska - 0.7 miles

The South Locust Street Trail acts like a spur off of the the Riverway Trail. It travels north for a little over a half mile towards Rt. 34. Walmart...

Pheasant Ridge Trail

Nebraska - 3 miles

The Pheasant Ridge Trail traces the northern shore of Harlan County Lake from just off US 183 in downtown Alma to Methodist Cove. Along the scenic...

Dark Island Trail

Nebraska - 8.4 miles

Traversing just over 8 miles in central Nebraska, the Dark Island Trail runs from the small town of Central City to the even smaller village of...

Kelley Creek Walking Trail

Nebraska - 1.5 miles

The Kelley Creek Walking Trail links Kelley to Karrer parks in McCook, Nebraska. The popular Kelley Park features amenities like picnic tables,...

Wilderness Park Trail

Nebraska - 1.5 miles

The Wilderness Park Trail offers a convenient, paved route past the popular 42-acre Wilderness Park Soccer Complex with its ten regulation-size...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Look Good, Feel Good: Get Your 2018 RTC TrailNation Jersey!
Order Your 2018 RTC Trail Calendar for Beautiful Trails All Year Long!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR