Local News

A water trail is being planned for the North Platte River.

People are already floating on the stretch from north of Hershey to Cody Park, but the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau would like to enhance and publicize the experience. Visitors bureau staff had a public education and comment meeting on Monday night at Prairie Arts Center in North Platte.

Muriel Clark, assistant director of the visitors bureau, said they plan to add porta-potties, trash receptacles and information at three launch and exit points. Those points are North River Wildlife Management Area on North Hershey Road, Cody Park and the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area campground. She said they want to meet the needs of people canoeing, kayaking, rafting, stand-up paddling, tubing or tanking.

Clark said having a designated water trail will be good for residents and visitors. She said there are a few other designated water trails in Nebraska, and other states have done a lot to capitalize on the idea. She said the bureau met recently with representatives of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Nebraska Tourism Commission, and looked at typical water flows from June through September. It seemed like a feasible idea, she said.

Developing the water trail will not require much expense, Clark said, since the launch/exit points are already public property. They may have some of the features in place yet this year, she said, and plan to have everything in place by water sport season next year.

Clark said they plan to post information at launch points, such as how long the trip is expected to take and where to find online information about water flows.

Anyone with comments, questions or concerns about the proposed water trail can contact North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau at 308-532-4729.

Our area is known for trails: The Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, California Trail, Pony Express Trail, Union Pacific Railroad and Interstate 80. It’s a good time to be known for a North Platte River water trail, Clark said.

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