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.
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.