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Monument Valley Trail is a hard surface multiuse trail that winds through three communities in western Nebraska. The first 1.9 miles are in Scottsbluff, running between the YMCA and the Riverside Park. The park complex, sitting on the northern bank of the North Platte River, features the Riverside Discovery Center (zoo); Riverside Campground for RVs; the YMCA Campground and a dog park. There are benches placed along the path; additional seating can be found in picnic areas. The trail travels close to the river, affording great views of the water.
At YMCA park, the trail branches. If you take the right branch, you will continue on the trail underneath 10th Street to the YMCA parking lot. Take the left branch and you can get to Beltsville Road, and then turn right to take 10th Street across the river into Terrytown. The path is narrow on the bridge - you may need to walk your bicycle. Pay attention to the surface markings as you will need them to direct you through this section. Turn right on Mobile Avenue, at the 'Welcome to the Valley' sign. Ride on the path, not in the street, because this road becomes a one-way street. At Lake Drive, carefully cross Mobile Avenue and you will arrive at Terry's Lake, a fishing and picnicking spot in Terrytown.
The trail circles the lake down to Carpenter Park on the southwest corner. Turn left to take Terry Boulevard over the canal and then follow the trail south through Carpenter (Recreation) Center to Country Club Road. Proceed with caution as this section consists of sidewalk/ on-street bike lanes. You'll cross the Union Pacific tracks (again, use caution). This section is residential. The second major crossing happens at Five Rocks Road. The surface markings direct cyclists to get on the sidewalk, just before and for some distance after, this lighted crossing. Once you're past Five Rocks Road, you can get back in the bike lane.
Continue west past Monument Shadows Golf Course. Finally, you'll come to the edge of Scotts Bluff National Monument. The trail travels along the fence, affording unobstructed views of the bluffs rising hundreds of feet above you. These rocky outcrops were used as landmarks by European settlers and traders moving west to Oregon and California. The national park covers 3000 acres.
The trail ends at U Street, but you can always extend your journey. Take the U Street Pathway east into Gering, or take the narrowed path west to the Monument Visitors Center. As of 2019, there are no entrance fees to the park, but always double-check before your excursion.
You can park at Riverside Park in Scottsbluff. You can park at a small lot on U Street (Gering) near the border of the national park. See map for detailed directions and additional parking options.
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