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Waterfalls in Nebraska? Yes, There Are!

I was talking with folks at the Omaha Boat, Sports and Travel Show this past week who had just moved here to Nebraska from Colorado and they just couldn’t believe that this state (our state) has any waterfalls in it whatsoever. Whoa, folks, not so fast. We do have waterfalls in the Cornhusker State and some really cool ones at that! Look at the stair step falls along the Niobrara River near Valentine, NE.

stairstepfalls

So, new friends and Nebraska residents, this blog post is for you! Enjoy catching a glimpse of some of Nebraska’s waterfalls. Keep in mind that most of these are along or on spring-fed rivers that flow in the ecologically unique, north-central Nebraska Sandhills region. They derive their water from the massive Ogallala aquifer. These natural wonders are certainly worth the trip to see and experience! A number of Nebraska’s waterfalls can be found along the south side of the Lower Niobrara River east of Valentine, NE by taking a float trip through an outfitter. Check out the video.

These waterfalls help supply the river with water. Over 230 waterfalls have been recorded along the Niobrara with the highest being 63-foot tall Smith Falls (State Park) near Sparks, NE.

smithfallsstatepark

As mentioned, various other waterfalls can be seen along the river. Here is a “still photo” of Berry Falls.

BerryFallsNioRiver

Other Sandhills rivers like the Upper Snake in Cherry County have small, picturesque waterfalls such as the Twin Falls.

uppersnaketwinfalls

Abbott’s Lockjaw Falls on the Upper Snake (pictured below) obviously can be viewed but should be directly experienced by the fun of a canoe or kayak.

LockjawFallsUpperSnakeRiver

uppersnakerivercanoeing

Make plans to explore Nebraska this year and take in some waterfalls. You’ll be glad you did!

Snake River Falls is immediately to the north of Merritt Reservoir near Valentine, NE and is the largest waterfall, as measured by volume, in the state.
Snake River Falls is immediately to the north of Merritt Reservoir near Valentine, NE and is the largest waterfall, as measured by volume, in the state.
Forty-five foot tall Fort Falls on the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge along the Niobrara River east of Valentine, NE.
Forty-five foot tall Fort Falls on the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge along the Niobrara River east of Valentine, NE is the state’s third largest waterfall.

See you out there!

canoeing/waterfall/snakeriver

You can get information about Nebraska’s water trails by clicking here.

About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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