Points of Interest

Travel Guide Information:

Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway and Corridor Region

Check out the Scenic Byway communities below:

DAKOTA COUNTY | DIXON COUNTY | CEDAR COUNTY | KNOX COUNTY

BOYD COUNTY | KEYA PAHA COUNTY | CHERRY COUNTY

Dakota County

  • Dakota City-Dakota County Seat
    • Historic Territorial Church-Emmanuel Lutheran Church-1860-the first Lutheran church built in Nebraska. Located-15th & Hickory.
    • Cottonwood Cove Park & Campground– on the banks of the Missouri River features a boat dock, lookout over the Missouri River. Located 14th & Hickory.
    • Beermann Park- South 17th & Hickory Street
    • Odd Fellow Lodge Park-along Missouri River. Located 9th & Vine.
    • Lundberg Sportsmanship Field-designed for youth leagues. Located at 21st & Hickory.
    • Jim Cahill Memorial Trail Bike Trail connects with trails in South Sioux City and Sioux City, Iowa.
  • South Sioux City– Frontier’s “wildest little town on the Missouri.”
    • Siouxland Freedom ParkFeatures half-scale of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Located at 1101 Foundry Rd.
    • Scenic Park – 4th & D Streets along the Missouri Riverfront. Camping facilities, boat ramp and Aqua Plex.
    • Crystal Cove – at intersection of Hwys 20 & 77. Facilities include one-mile paved walking/jogging/bike trail, beach, picnic areas and fishing.
  • Homer
    • O’Connor House – located 2-miles east of Homer. Site includes the historical 14-room mansion built in 1865, Combs School and museum.
  • Willis-Intersection of Hwys 12 & 20.

 


Dixon County

  • Ponca-Dixon County Seat
    • Ponca State Park –offers Interpretive Education Center, Tri-State Look-Out view of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, cabins, camping facilities, hiking/biking trails, swimming, horseback riding, fishing, and boating access to the Missouri River.
    • Highland Oaks Golf Course-Nine holes. Located at entrance of Ponca State Park.
    • Carnage Public Library – Last of its kind built in Nebraska. Located at 201 West 2nd
    • Adams House Museum – 1900’s interior design. Open Saturdays 10:00 AM to noon Memorial Day until Labor Day and by appointment call 712-898-5679. Located 421 Third Street.
    • Cook’s Blacksmith Shop – Original 1800’s tools and equipment. Open Saturdays 10:00 AM to noon and by appointment. Call 712-898-5679. Located downtown Ponca.
    • Ponca Historic District and Self-Walking Tour-Brochure at City Hall maps out a 45-minute historical self-directed walk through town.
  • Martinsburg
  • Wakefield-“Baseball Capital of Nebraska.”
    • Salem Church-411 Winter Street. Features outstanding example of Swedish-American Gothic Revival architecture, built in 1906.
    • Ward Barelman Barn-Restored round barn.
    • Graves Library Museum-3rd Street maintained by Wakefield Heritage Organization (WHO).
    • Wakefield Train Depot-maintained by WHO.
  • Allen- 1890’s Pacific Railroad Town.”
    • Dixon County Museum – located at 3rd & Clark Street. Features one-room schoolhouse.
    • Lov-A-Lop Exotic Animals Petting Zoo –features variety of animals. Located north edge of town.
    • Allen Historical Tree Grove-south of town.
  • Dixon
  • Newcastle
    • Pfister Parkhosts an Annual Labor Day celebration.
    • Ionia Volcano-Interpretive Signage. Nebraska’s only “volcano” is located on private property, near Newcastle. Documentation indicates that the Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery Expedition noted one bluff was on “fire.” This “volcanic activity” was decomposition of iron pyrite beds meeting water.
    • Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge-Linking Nebraska and South Dakota. Located west and north of Newcastle.
  • Maskell
    • City Hall-smallest in Nebraska.

 


Cedar County

  • Hartington-Cedar County Seat
    • Cedar County Historical Museum-304 West Franklin.
    • Felber Park– includes playground equipment, picnic facilities, swimming pool, various ball fields and courts.
    • Carkoski Fieldat intersection of Broadway and Highway 84. The facility is used as public walking track and practice area for school athletes.
    • Hartington Community Complexspans 27+ acres. Located on the west side of town, hosts athletic field, stadium, and concession area.
    • Hartington City Auditoriumcity-owned facility, located at 101 East Centre. Features athletic court, kitchen and meeting room.
    • Northeast Nebraska Archery Rangenon-profit organizationlocated two miles east of Hartington on Highway 84.
    • Cedar County Fairgroundseast edge of Hartington cedarcountyfair.net
    • The Skylon Ballroom-has a storied history with performers such as Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk. Today, the hall also serves as a community reception hall and roller-skating on Sunday.
  • Obert
  • St. James
    • St. James Market Place-historic building- Local merchants offer Nebraska-grown and hand-made products.
    • Wiseman Monument-memorial to the Wiseman children killed during an Indian raid in the summer of 1863.
  • Wynot
    • Historic George Shannon Trail-George Shannon, a member of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery became lost along the river for 12 days. He was eventually reunited with the Corps.
    • Goat Island-northeast of Wynot in the Missouri River, so named for the wild goats that once inhabited the island.
    • Bow Valley Mills-built in 1868 just north of Wynot.
  • St. Helena
    • Catholic Church and Cemetery and Church-fourth oldest Catholic Church in Nebraska.
    • Iron Jail House
  • Bow Valley
    • Peter and Paul Catholic Church-town centered around church.
  • Fordyce
  • Coleridge“Heart of Cedar County.”
  • Randolph– “Honey Capital of the Nation.”
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Menominee
    • Franz Zavadil Farmstead-On National Registry of Historic Places featuring an outstanding example of an early Nebraska farmstead.
  • Laurel
    • Couser Barn-a twelve-sided frame barn built in 1912-13 that is the only “round” barn recorded in Cedar County.
    • B-52 Crash Site Monument-Located at north edge of Laurel on Hwy 20.
    • Maun House-Located at City Park-3rd & Cedar.
    • Clairmont School House-Located at City Park-3rd & Cedar.

 


Knox County

A life-sized wooden sculpture of Private George Shannon located in each of Knox County’s towns.  Private Shannon, a member of the Lewis and Clark’s exploration party of 1804, became lost for several days in Knox County.

  • Center-Knox County Seat.
  • Crofton
    • Historic Argo Hotel-listed on the National Register of Historic Places offers 13-rooms in turn-of-the-century décor, a dining room and “speakeasy lounge.”
    • Corps of Discovery Welcome Center-features a scenic overlook, historical marker, Lewis & Clark interpretive panels, art gallery and gift shop.
    • Lewis & Clark Visitors Centeroverlooks Gavins Point Dam, powerhouse, Lewis & Clark Lake Recreation Area, Calumet Bluff and Bald Eagle Lookout.
    • Lakeview Golf Courseone of the Nation’s Top Ten Most Scenic Golf Courses.
    • Weigand Marinaboating, fishing, camping, hunting opportunities abound.
  • Lindy-established in 1928, named for aviator Charles Lindbergh. Village motto is “Rising from the Ashes.”
    • Lindy Country Club-the only Country Club in Northeast Nebraska without a golf course. It is a café/bar built in 1998 by all volunteer labor.
    • “Devil’s Nest”-the hideout area for Jesse James and his gang. Deep canyons and ample tree cover made for good protection from the law.
  • Santee Indian Reservation-established in 1866
    • Annual Pow Wow-June.
    • Santee Cultural Center
    • Mankato 38 Mural-at Santee School. Mural depicts the Santee Sioux living in the woodland regions of the Great Lakes, their uprising against the government, the army moving in to stop the conflict, relocating the tribe to South Dakota and eventually Nebraska.
    • Santee Pilgrim Congregational Church and Santee Normal Training School- constructed in 1870-71 by Congregational Missionaries. Sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    • Church of Our Most Merciful Savior constructed in 1884 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Niobrara-Nebraska’s third oldest town- founded in 1856. The town was relocated twice: first time in 1888 due to flooding & second time in 1973 due to high water levels.
    • Sage Brothers Memorial and Historical Marker-in memory of three brothers who died when their ship, U.S.S. Frank E. Evans, sank during the Vietnam conflict.
    • Chief Standing Bear Bridge-interpretive markers on the SD side tell about the Native American history, Lewis & Clark expedition, and the Missouri River ferry service.
    • Bazile Creek Wildlife Management Area- “Nebraska’s Everglades” located along the Missouri River east of Niobrara.
    • Maiden’s Leap-rock formation that enhances the legendary tale of an Indian maiden who was in love with one brave, but betrothed to another by her father. In despair, she rode one of her father’s finest horses off this rock cliff.Ponca Tribe Agency-three miles south of Niobrara State Park, was built in 1936 and houses the Ponca Tribal Museum. An educational trail and sweat lodge are on site. The Ponca Tribe Annual Pow Wow is the third weekend each August.
    • Swanson Hunting Acres – Nebraska’s oldest and largest controlled shooting area, since 1983, has good pheasant, quail and deer hunting.
    • Riverview Cemetery-located on top of a hill southwest of town, offers a majestic view of the Niobrara River Valley.
    • Kreycik Riverview Elk & Buffalo Farm – offers covered wagon rides along the scenic Niobrara River.
    • Mormon Monument-honors a group of Mormons who wintered in the area during 1846.
    • Niobrara State Park-located at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers. According to the Lewis & Clark’s journals, their expedition stopped at the mouth of the Niobrara River near the current site of Niobrara State Park. This park offers horseback riding, swimming, hiking/biking trails, fishing, scenic vistas, wildlife viewing, modern cabins, tent and trailer camping, picnic shelters and a group lodge. The park also features:
      • Cramer Interpretive Center-a unique 360-degree view of the countryside; includes informational bronze plaques telling the rich history of the area.
      • Historic Railroad Bridge-three wooden trestles span the mouth of the Niobrara River; fishermen and hikers enjoy the planked surface.
      • Mosasaurus-mural in park office replicates fossil found in park.
  • Verdel
    • Verdel Cemetery-the grandparents of television game show host Bob Barker of “The Price Is Right” are buried here (Joseph and Francis “Fanny” Barker.)
    • Verdel Jail – known to have held prisoners as early as 1902.
  • Pishelville:
    • Pishelville Lodge-built in 1884 and still used today. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is thought to be the first Czech Lodge built in the state.
    • Pishelville Cemetery-a Bohemian National Cemetery.
  • Wausa: Experience Swedish heritage and hospitality in this quaint village.
    • City Park with BMX dirt track, swimming pool, Arboretum, playground complex and electric campsites.
    • Rolling Hills Country Club is open to the public.
    • A Classic Car Show-Labor Day weekend.
  • Bloomfield
    • Bloomfield Museum – Call for an appointment.
    • Restored 1920’s building houses the unique stores, The Hive & Lemon Drop.
  • Creighton: Knox County’s largest city.
    • Berry Pepper Days-June.
    • Bruce Park Arboretum-hosts over 175 different species of labeled woody plants.
    • Creighton Country Club-public golf course
  • Winnetoon: “World’s Only Winnetoon.” Population less than 100, yet boasts a mini-mall, which includes a gift and antique shop, health food store, post office.
    • Walk the boardwalk along Frontier Town and “privy” path.
    • Historic jailhouse located in town park.
  • Verdigre: Known as the “Bohemian Alps” because of their similarity to hills in Czechoslovakia.
    • ZCBJ Opera House, constructed in 1903 by the Lodge Bila Hora 5, is used today as a community hall. It is noted for its graceful façade, 20-foot deep proscenium stage and rare “square grand” piano built in the early 1860’s.
    • Commercial Hotel B & B – a restored 1900 hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    • Verdigre Museum complex includes an 1870 Grist Mill, unused city jail, mortuary and artifacts from the early life of the Czech community.
    • St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, built in 1915, was completely restored in its Romanesque style with the original stencils to repaint the murals; the stained-glass windows, originally from Czechoslovakia, were also restored. The altar is listed as one of the most beautiful in the United States.

Boyd County

US Hwy 281 which connects Canada to Mexico passes through the center of Boyd County. Spencer Dam and the Angel’s Straw Bale Saloon lie on the southern border of Boyd County.

  • Butte-Boyd County Seat.
    • two scenic formations, Harvey Butte and Twin Butte, give this village its name.
    • The Butte Community Historical Center & Butte Museum are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Monowi-means “flower.” Monowi is the smallest incorporated town in Nebraska. The 2010 Census documented the population at one. Stop at the
    • Monowi Tavern-Stop for a visit with Elsie, the only resident.
    • Rudy’s Library-books are checked out on the honor system.
  • Lynch-nestled between the Ponca and Whiskey Creeks, the Niobrara River lies 6-miles south and the Missouri River is 10-miles north.
    • “Old Baldy” or the “Tower”-located 6-miles north along the Missouri River it is documented in the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Journals. Lewis & Clark discovered the first Prairie Dog near this location.
    • The Lynn Theatre– a restored theatre that is run solely by volunteers and features first run movies.
    • The House of Renewal Retreat Center-located in the former Catholic hospital and convent. This center hosts retreats and conferences. It is available to rent for reunions and functions.
    • S. Military Reservation Post – “The Iron Post”-is in front of the Lynch Firehouse and is one of only three Iron Posts known to be in existence.
    • Train Muralcovers the side of the old barber shop building on main street.
    • Bowling Alley-the only one in Boyd County. Other interesting points: Lynch has Boyd County’s
    • Niobrara Valley Hospital-only hospital in Boyd County.
    • Swimming Pool-one of two in the Boyd County.
  • Gross-Currently a population of two, but this community grew to 500 population, in the summer of 1903, due to the Fort Randall Military Reserve located ten-miles north. View some of the original buildings, built by the founders of the town.
    • Nebraska-Inn Bar & Grill-enjoy a cup of coffee for five cents. Friday & Saturday nights there is standing room only.
  • Bristow
    • scenic park for camping and a meal at the Ponca Pub and Eatery.
  • Spencer-hosts Boyd County Fair in August, celebrates “Wild Turkey Days” in the fall.
    • Community Hall-constructed during the Works Progress Administration Era of 1935 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”
    • Carnegie Library-grassroots community project built in 1916 for $8,000.
    • Corn Exchange-historic building in downtown, built in 1906 by Storz Brewing Company of Omaha as a saloon and later became the Corn Exchange Bank. The bank vault is now a walk-in cooler.
  • Naper
    • A Military Plane Crash Site – Interpretive Signage for one of the worst Nebraska plane crashes, with twenty-eight fatalities, occurred on August 3, 1944.
    • White Horse Ranch Museum-is home to the memorabilia and artifacts of the famous White Horse Ranch and White Horse Ranch Troupe of trick riders who toured the nation from 1938-1963 with Cal and Ruth Thompson. The Thompson Family developed the White Horse Breed. This ranch is listed as a National Historic Site and is currently in private ownership. Visit the Naper Museum to learn about the history of the White Horse Ranch.
  • Burton: offers picnic area and historic restrooms.

 


Keya Paha County

known as “Mob County” due to the numerous vigilante activities in the 1880’s to early 1900’s. Many people were hung, or shot, during this lawlessness era.

  • Springview-Keya Paha County Seat.
    • Gateway to the Niobrara River Valley-encompasses diverse and breath-taking landscape.
    • Nebraska’s own “Grand Canyon”-located southeast of Springview overlooks the Niobrara River.
    • “Wind Turbine Days”-annual event celebrates the location of giant wind turbines just west of the community.
    • Cub Creek Recreation Area-man-made lake constructed and maintained by the Natural Resource District, Keya Paha County, and Springview.
  • Meadville-a restored ghost town near the Niobrara River hosting a newly-refurbished general store/restaurant. Meadville was at the heart of Keya Paha County’s lawlessness. “Doc” Middleton, Nebraska’s most notorious horse thief, frequently used a hidden corral located about six-miles west on the south side of the Niobrara River.
  • Norden
    • The Norden Dance Hall-historic dance hall with wooden floor. Dances are held Saturday nights during the summer. All are welcome to attend.

 


Cherry County

Six eco-systems meet in Cherry County: Northern Boreal Forest, Rocky Mountain Forest, Eastern Deciduous Forest, Tall Grass Prairie, Mixed Grass Prairie and Sandhills.

  • Valentine-Cherry County Seat
    • Known as “Heart of the Sandhills” and “Cupid Capital”.
    • Cherry County Historical Society Museum-features a unique doll collection.
    • 1897 National Historic Landmark Centennial Hall-oldest standing high school building in the state, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The design incorporates Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival design elements and offers an ornate architecture style of native-stone foundation and wrought-iron fire escapes.
  • Sparks“Canoe Capital of Nebraska” canoe outfitters, general store and post office.
    • Smith Falls State Park features Smith Falls, the state’s tallest waterfall with water tumbling nearly 70 ft. Verdigre Bridge, on National Register of Historic Places, provides foot access to the falls.
    • Jim MacAllister Nature Trail-offers a view of diverse ecological systems.
    • Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge-four miles east of Valentine is home to buffalo, elk, deer, a prairie dog colony and over 200-species of birds.
    • Niobrara National Scenic River-designated in 1991 by Congress as a scenic river corridor. Seventy-six miles of the Niobrara River is federally protected and encompasses over 20,000-acres of public and private lands.
    • The Cowboy Trail-Nebraska’s first state recreational trail. It is the nation’s longest rails to trails conversion, 321miles from Norfolk to Chadron. The trail is the former historic Chicago & Northwestern Railroad right-of-way.

 

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