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In the northwestern corner of Nebraska, the White River Trail provides a 3-mile connection between Crawford City Park and Fort Robinson State Park. Along the way, the crushed-stone pathway offers stunning views of tree-covered buttes and a few crossings over the White River on former railroad bridges.
Fort Robinson State Park—the western end of the White River Trail—encompasses the fort and military camp that was home to the Red Cloud Agency in the 1870s. This federal agency served both the Oglala Lakota tribe of the Great Sioux Nation, as well as the Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, in what was essentially a forerunner to modern American Indian reservations. Fort Robinson is also notorious as the site of both Crazy Horse's surrender and his death in 1877. Today, a historic plaque marks the location.
Exhibits at the Fort Robinson Museum also inform visitors about the fort's later history as the regimental headquarters of the Buffalo Soldiers in the late 1800s and as the site of a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.
On your way to and from Fort Robinson, be sure to keep your eyes open for the wildlife who call the area around the White River Trail home. Depending on the time of year, deer, wild turkey, bison and long-horn cattle can be seen.
Parking is available in Crawford at the unassuming trailhead at 1st and Main Streets. Alternatively, start your journey at Fort Robinson State Park. Parking is available at several small parking lots around the Fort Robinson Museum just off of US 20. Walk a short distance to the marked trailhead at the southeastern corner of the park.
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