Platte River Connection

Nebraska

Platte River Connection Facts

States: Nebraska
Counties: Cass
Length: 1 miles
Trail end points: 328th St. just north of Kimberly Dr. and State Route 31 west of S. 196th Cir.
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016484
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Platte River Connection Description

The Platte River Connection is a short, but critical, route that will one day link the vast trail systems of the two most populous Nebraskan cities, Lincoln and Omaha. Before this can happen, extensions to the Omaha trail system to the east and the 22-mile MoPac Trail East to the west must be completed.

At the trail's centerpiece is the 1,714-foot-long Lied Platte River Bridge, a converted Rock Island Railroad trestle that offers picturesque views of the water. Be sure to visit the tiny village of South Bend, located just north of the Platte River Connection on the river's southern bank.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Platte River Connection is available on both sides of the river. On the south bank, park at the trailhead on 328th Street (0.5 mile south of South Bend). On the north bank, park at the parking lot just off State Route 31.

Platte River Connection Reviews

Starting at the Platte River Connection trailhead (next to the road), you first ride slightly downhill to the river. This section is more rough than your standard crushed limestone, but still not too bad.

You will pass a ‘river community’ with posted signs that read “Private Property”, but that is for the grassy areas, not the trail. The trail you will be on is fine…it leads to the bridge you’re there to see.

Once you get to the bridge it is very open and wide, and pretty cool. It has several covered viewing areas with benches, some of which have placards to read about the area.

This trail is not a loop… after visiting the bridge you must then head back up to the trailhead. Although it is listed as a ‘1 mile’ trail, you will be going about 1.65 miles total, from the trail head/parking lot, to the far end of the long bridge, then back to your car.

OPTIONAL:

This spot is a two-fer. The same trailhead that is for the Platte River Connection now also is for the Mopac (see that trail on this website also)

The Mopac has been lengthened… from this trail, all the way to a few miles north of Springfield, so you could ride about 10.5 miles starting from here if you wanted to. 13 or so if you keep going thru Springfield and end up in a random spot closer to Omaha.

It is all crushed limestone and actual trail…not a road/combo trail (up to Springfield anyway – I didn’t go any further so don’t know about that section).

If you do ride the Mopac trail, which starts right there in the same parking lot, it will take you 4 miles (mostly within fairly close proximity of the road) to the southern Mopac trailhead at the Platte river. Either turn around there and ride back, for a total of just about 9.76 miles, or if you go another couple hundred feet, you will pass a restaurant called Heron Bay. I highly recommend you eat here! Yummy food, and a outdoor table with a nice river view if you want.

You can turn around now, or keep heading north on the Mopac. If you keep riding north on the Mopac, you will ride almost another 5.67 miles to the Springfield trailhead. At this point, you will need to get back to your car back at the Platte River Connection trailhead, and once you’ve done that, you will have gone a total of 21 miles.

If you only ride the Platte River Connection, you will enjoy it, it is nice all on its own. If you also ride the Mopac, you can get a bit of speed and exercise, and forestry areas, and a good assortment of visuals for your eyes, and legs, without being too difficult, and turn a 1 miler into a 21 miler pretty nicely, all from the same parking spot.

I'm giving Platte River Connection a 5 star rating, based on its own merits...not based on its length. It is short, on its own, yes, but it has a nice parking spot trailhead, a fairly easy trail to the bridge, and once your at the bridge, you'll be there a while and there's lots to see...for a bridge. I think it deserves 5 stars for what it has to offer, in its short length.

Took my grandson, (a new bike rider) on this small trail. He really enjoyed riding over the Platte river and then we went into the community on the south side of the Platte and rode thru the neighborhood. It was very quiet and great for kids to ride without it being a busy area. The only negative was the gravel getting to the bridge, part of the trail had deep gravel that you had to be careful not to take a spill otherwise had a great time.

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