Nebraska Outback

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Nebraska National Forest in the Nebraska Outback.

The Nebraska Outback is the north-central region of the U.S. state of Nebraska. It comprises Boyd, Holt, Rock, Blaine, Brown, Keya Paha and Cherry counties.


Calling this region the "Nebraska Outback" is part of a tourism campaign led by a nonprofit organization called the North Central Nebraska RC & D Council. It is sponsored by six counties, five Natural Resource Districts, 29 local communities and three local Chambers of Commerce.[1]

The North Central Nebraska RC&D Council partners with communities, organizations and agencies to assist the local people in the development of their communities, counties and region. The Outback is bordered by South Dakota on the north, and a small section of the Missouri River runs at the region’s eastern edge. The area has a population of 26,984 people on 12,627 square miles (32,700 km2) of land, or 2.1 people per square mile.

The outback is connected with the rest of Nebraska by way of four Nebraska byways: Bridges to Buttes Byway (Highway 20), the Outlaw Trail (Highway 12) and small sections of the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway (Highways 91/11), and the Sandhills Journey (Highway 2) in Blaine County. The Cowboy Trail is a bicycling, walking and equestrian trail that will eventually cross 321 miles (517 km) east-west from Norfolk to Chadron.[2]

Visitor attractions[edit]

Smith Falls near Valentine.
Restored Phillips 66 station in Bassett.
Mobil station in Lynch.

Particular attractions in the area have been identified in order to promote tourism throughout the Outback.[3]

Visitor attractions in the Nebraska Outback
Name Location Notes
Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Historical Park Merriman
Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest Nenzel
Spade Ranch Ellsworth Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Merritt Reservoir Valentine
Snake Falls Valentine
Smith Falls State Park Valentine
Downtown Valentine Valentine
Valentine Fish Hatchery Valentine
Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge Valentine
Lovejoy Ranch Bed and Breakfast Valentine
Turtle Butte Lodge Springview
Uncle Buck’s Lodge Brewster
Sandhills Guest Ranch Bed & Breakfast Brewster
Norden Dance Hall Ord
Keya Paha County Fairgrounds Springview
Brown County Fairgrounds Ainsworth
Niobrara River Road Norden
Meadville Ghost town
Winnetoon Replicas of early storefronts, schoolhouse, trading post, prairie grass gardens, log cabin and historic city jail. The town "mall" includes a working 1890s post office, antiques, carvings and natural foods store.
Sunshine Bottom Lynch Settled by German emigrants from the Russian Empire, Sunshine Bottom features settlement patterns and homes similar to those the emigrants left behind in Ukraine.[4]
Sturdevant-McKee House Museum Atkinson
Something Special by Marilyn Atkinson
White Horse Museum Stuart
Rock County Oil Company Phillips 66 Bassett Constructed in 1927 in the Spanish Revival style
Cowboy Trail Norfolk to Chadron
Happy Hollow Cabins
Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway South Sioux City to Valentine
Old Baldy Lynch Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Butte Historical Center Butte
Spencer Museum Village Spencer
Strawbale Saloon Spencer
Brown County Historical Society & Coleman House Museum Ainsworth
Holt County Historical Society Museum O'Neill
Long Pine Heritage Society & Heritage House Museum Long Pine link
Sellor's Log Cabin Ainsworth
White Horse Ranch Museum Stuart link
Rock County Historical Museum

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About", North Central RC&D. Retrieved 9/17/07.
  2. ^ Nebraska Outback Region. (2004) North Central Nebraska TARGET Report. Nebraska Travel and Tourism Division. Retrieved 9/17/07.
  3. ^ (2007) "Nebraska Outback," Nebraskaland Magazine. p 15.
  4. ^ Nebraska Outlaw Trail stories. Retrieved 9/18/07.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°30′N 99°30′W / 42.500°N 99.500°W / 42.500; -99.500 (Nebraska Outback)