Adventure riding ideas for Nebraska. Please don't laugh!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by RobertKay, Nov 9, 2020.

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  1. RobertKay

    RobertKay Adventurer

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    I own a 790 Adventure R but live in eastern Nebraska. I've ridden it a lot in Colorado and Utah and have rented one in Ecuador but don't really have any great ideas on where would be fun to ride it in eastern or central Nebraska. Western Nebraska is better for this, but if I'm going that far then I will just go on to one of the mountain states. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    #1
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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  3. RobertKay

    RobertKay Adventurer

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    What a fantastic idea. Thank you. I read much of your report and was truly fascinated by what you wrote.
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  4. huskershaun

    huskershaun Been here awhile Supporter

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    Touch base with the Midwest Trials Association, they're down in Weeping Water or look up the Dirt Orcas group in Iowa. HTH, Shaun
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  5. MarcoSolo

    MarcoSolo Been here awhile

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    I don't know what you're looking for in terms of "adventure" but I've been all through the Sandhills area on dirt roads down to jeep tracks with easy water crossings. I think that land has its own kind of beauty and the people I've met have been well worth the time. Purdum, just north of Halsey and the hand-planted national forest, is a wide spot on a narrow two lane road but there's a sign at the entrance to the unincorporated town that reads, "Purdum - Next 4 Exits", and the exits are just driveways. My adventure was not knowing where I was going but just poking around. Met one guy on a dirt road in the national forest who made some kind of living harvesting and selling seeds from wild plants. I think at one time, Nebraska's slogan was "It's a state of mind." Sure is.
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  6. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    I love wandering around Nebraska. The hills and small towns in the northeast part of the state are delightful. Another route I can suggest is to ride west on the back roads north of the Niobrara River, through Valentine and out into the panhandle. I stayed at the city park in Valentine once thirty-some years ago. It's on the north side of town down by the creek. The campground was free...except the hot showers cost a quarter.

    Back in 2016, I camped at the city park again. The only thing that changed was that the hot showers were now free.
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  7. zoid

    zoid Dirty Old Hippie

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    If you want to stick mostly to the eastern side of Nebraska, you are definitely in an area that is overflowing with great riding.

    Forty some years of my life were spent in Lincoln. You can head north from near the Kansas border, along the Missouri river all of the way to the South Dakota border and never lack for interesting roads and terrain. There are stunning scenic rides anywhere in the northeast part of the state. Or go down south of Fairbury and you will find some interesting and hilly areas. Travel along the Nebraska Kansas border heading west to the Harlan county area for some more fun rides.

    As Klay pointed out, camping in small towns is quite possible. Just ask the local constabulary. Many small towns have camping areas in their city parks for free. And the locals can be quite accommodating.

    The Nebraska state Historical Society website has old maps that show towns that are now abandoned. Some have abandoned buildings and some nothing more than a small plaque with a few small details of a village long gone. Stay in the eastern part of the state and you will find roads to explore for years to come.
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  8. MarcoSolo

    MarcoSolo Been here awhile

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    Three years ago coming back to WI from the CDR on an XR650L I went through Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Res and on to Martin, SD. After a convenience store dinner I tried to find a place to camp but the one city park that offered camping was bare dirt covered in trash and right off a main intersection so I dropped down to Cody, NE, and found the city park there. I think it was $10 for tent camping on lush, groomed grass, and it came with a hot shower. There was a couple from New England in a small Airstream but I didn't see or hear them until the morning. I set up while some little kids practiced roping for an upcoming event with an indulgent goat and the school football team ran by in uniform just before dark. I enjoyed it so much compared to the commercial campground I'd stayed in the previous night I found another one like it in IA for the last night on the road.
    #8
  9. RobertKay

    RobertKay Adventurer

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    Great stuff people! Thank you! Keep it coming.
    #9
  10. JeddRussell

    JeddRussell n00b

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    I realize your looking specifically for Nebraska, but if you ever run out of places, going down into eastern Kansas into the Flint Hills is another option. Vast rolling hills, tallgrass praries, limestone outcroppings make it a unique environment to explore. If you go in the spring after the burning season everything is lush and green, almost like you're in Ireland. Coming from East Nebraska, you wouldn't have to go that far into North East Kansas to find what I'm talking about. Any of the roads around Manhattan, Wamego, Emporia are the sweet spot.
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  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Post #10 made me homesick...:nod Alma and Wabaunsee Co. are the sweet spot IMO.
    I had a GF who was in college in Seward, NE years ago- it was like entering the artic headed not that far N from KS in the winter into NE.
    #11
  12. Booghotfoot

    Booghotfoot Been here awhile

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    I traveled across Northern and Western NE this fall on a trip out to Utah (Flaming Gorge area, via Northern CO). I had never visited NE before, and was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Sand Hills.
    I started out in Valentine, and headed west on US20 to Hay Springs and then South to Alliance. After coming through South Dakota, it was a welcome change of scenery.

    I saw another group of riders heading south out of Alliance on US83. Made me think I should have taken that rout instead, but aI enjoyed my ride.
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  13. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    There is nothing in Nebraska. It's totally flat without a hill or tree. My wife and I watched the movie, "The Homesman", last night, so I know for a fact that there isn't a tree in the state...or a hill.:lol3

    But seriously, we did watch that movie last night, and I know most of that flat land filming was done in NM. I do have some limited personal experience in Nebraska. One year my wife and I were going to the Black Hills, SD in the fall in our travel trailer. We had droned on and on through OK and KS and were looking for an evening campsite just across the border from KS into Nebraska. Thinking we would be on flat land without any inspiring view, we came upon Hugh Bulter Lake just off hwy 83. We pulled into a campsite by the lake with beautiful rolling hills and pockets of trees starting to turn their colors. It was a beautiful setting and very peaceful. Being fall, there were hardly any other campers in the middle of the week, and it was a pleasant surprise of beauty and serenity. Nebraska has some nice looking terrain if you know where to look. That Blue Star Memorial Hwy, 83, has some good scenery in southern Nebraska.
    #13
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  14. fifthcircle

    fifthcircle Beer Knurd

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    I just found this thread, but I'm going to keep it going.

    I threw an ADV moto campout (rally) for ten years....in Nebraska. It started out as "SHOT" SandHills On Two. Then became"Fifth Fest".
    Long story short, we always had a blast, and anyone unfamiliar with Nebraska was blown away with how fun the riding was.

    For 99% of people traveling through, it's I-80, with a stop for gas. That corridor is absolutely the worst representation of the state. You really only need to travel 10mi N or S of that terrible slab of non-stop truck traffic, to start to see the better parts.

    If anyone ever reads this, and is looking for info on where to ride. PM me, or :
    zontar
    gsbiker
    flyrodder
    tbirdsp
    Yossarian
    Or a bunch of other Nebraska riders.
    #14
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  15. Bagooba

    Bagooba Adventurer

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    Rode out to Chadron from Omaha last week, took Hwy 92 to Hwy 2 then Hwy 385 north to Chadron. Sand Hills made for interesting & entertaining ride. Took Hwy 20 to Hwy 275 back to Omaha from Chadron. Small towns break up the monotony of an 8 hr ride.
    #15
  16. Lapchik

    Lapchik Tinkeritis posterboy

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  17. Bagooba

    Bagooba Adventurer

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    I practically rode right past Fulton Ave last Saturday, took a ride up to Pisgah area. Enjoyed all the back roads or what I thought were back roads!
    #17