While working the Omaha Boat, Sports and Travel Show yesterday, I was reminded about a couple Nebraska rivers not floated much that have nearly constant water levels year-round being spring-fed by the massive Ogallala Aquifer. That reminder was prompted by a good friend in Nebraska’s outdoor recreation scene – float trip outfitter Mitch Glidden of Mullen, NE. Mitch, along with his wife – Patty (she really runs things, sorry Mitch), own and operate Glidden Canoe Rental and the Sandhills Motel in Mullen, NE (www.GliddenCanoeRental.com). Here’s big Mitch and I at his Omaha Sports Show booth.

If you you know me – Greg Wagner,  you know that I dearly love the Nebraska Sandhills and especially its rivers. The Middle Loup River near Mullen, NE is a hidden, scenic gem and an ideal river for beginners to canoe, kayak, tube or tank. It’s a super easy, relatively shallow, meandering river with a 2-3 mph flow that makes for a fun, mellow summer afternoon float trip. On a weekday, you’ll probably not see a soul on that river! Here it is.

For those of up for an extreme sports adventure, there is another spectacular river nearby to paddle – the Dismal River. This is arguably Nebraska’s most challenging river to kayak or canoe. The Dismal is a very wild and scenic river, prone to snags, swift moving current, varying depths, and a river that is not to be taken lightly. If you have a fair amount of canoeing or kayaking experience, and are prepared for a rugged, remote trip, you’ll end up traversing the Dismal’s waters every year as many of us do! Check out the Dismal River below.

You won’t find either of these rivers on our Game and Parks Water Trails list, but they are worthy of being looked at for summer trips! Might see you out there on one or the other!

About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Communications and Marketing Specialist 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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