Niobrara National Scenic River

Niobrara National Scenic River
Niobrara National Scenic River
IUCN Category III (Natural Monument)
Map showing the location of Niobrara National Scenic River
Map showing the location of Niobrara National Scenic River
Location Cherry, Keya Paha, Brown, and Rock counties, Nebraska, USA
Nearest city Valentine, NE
Coordinates 42°53′0″N 100°19′0″W / 42.883333°N 100.316667°W / 42.883333; -100.316667Coordinates: 42°53′0″N 100°19′0″W / 42.883333°N 100.316667°W / 42.883333; -100.316667
Area 23,074 acres (93 km2)
Established May 24, 1991
Visitors 54,385 (in 2004)
Governing body National Park Service

The Niobrara National Scenic River is located in north-central Nebraska, United States, approximately 300 miles (480 km) northwest of Omaha. In 1991, Congress set aside 76 miles (120 km) along two stretches of the Niobrara River for preservation under the management of the National Park Service with assistance from the local Niobrara Council. Several "outstandingly remarkable values" have been designated to be protected along the Niobrara National Scenic River, including: Fish and Wildlife, Scenery, Fossil Resources, High Water Quality, and Recreation. The river was designated by Backpacker magazine as one of the 10 best rivers for canoeing in the United States.

Smith Falls is the tallest waterfall in Nebraska.

Along the National Scenic River are numerous waterfalls that empty into the river from the surrounding cliff and springbranchcanyon walls; the highest one is Smith Falls, which drops almost 63 feet (19 m) into the river valley. There are short sections of Class I and II rapids on the river itself, and several locations further downstream require a portage around the rapids. The westernmost 26 miles (40 km) of the Scenic River section, from the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge (just east of Valentine) to the Rocky Ford portage, offer outstanding canoeing, kayaking, tubing and fishing opportunities. Although the remainder of the river is also able to be paddled, public access is limited by private landholder permission. Around 70,000 people visit the river annually, with the months of June through August being the busiest. Water levels do decline slightly in late summer; however, the river can still be tralled by canoe, kayak, and inner tube. To reach the first public access on the Scenic River section, drive northeast of Valentine on Nebraska Highway 12 until the sign for the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge put-in.

Considered a superb example of a Great Plains river, the Niobrara is home to over 500 plant species many at or beyond their usual range, including many not otherwise found within several hundred miles, These species include birch, ponderosa pine and aspen (both quaking and bigtooth species). Species from six different biomes can be found in proximity here. Northern boreal forest types occur on north facing slopes where shade and abundant ground water create cooler microclimates. Species growing here include paper birch, basswood, aspen, ferns and club mosses. Rocky Mountain forest plants include ponderosa pine, serviceberry, and horizontal juniper. Eastern deciduous forests grow on the moist bottom lands and islands of the Niobrara. They include American elm, cottonwood, green ash, bur oak, hackberry and box elder. Three types of prairie are found in the river valley, displaying a botanical transition between among the eastern tallgrass prairie, the mixed grass prairie of the Sandhills, and the western shortgrass prairie. Mule deer, beaver, mink, antelope, coyote and even bison can be found in the area as well. Approximately 400 bison and a few dozen elk are protected in the 19,000 acre (77 km2) Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, which is located along the river.

In the Niobrara river,minnows such as sand shiners, red shiners and flathead chubs search for their food of aquatic insects near streambank margins. Larger fish, such as rainbow and brown trout, prefer cooler, clear water where springbranch canyon tributaries enter the river. Channel catfish, a popular game fish, prefer deeper waters or cover during the day and feed at night in the riffles. Softshell, snapping or painted turtles may be found sunning on logs in summer.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Missouri National Recreational River — IUCN Category III (Natural Monument) …   Wikipedia

  • Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge — Infobox protected area | name = Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge iucn category = IV caption = locator x = 120 locator y = 60 location = Nebraska, USA nearest city = Valentine, NE lat degrees = 42 lat minutes = 52 lat seconds = 41 lat… …   Wikipedia

  • Niobrara River — River The Niobrara at its confluence with the Missouri. The Niobrara r …   Wikipedia

  • Niobrara River — Verlauf des Niobrara River Daten Gewässerkennzahl US …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Niobrara — may refer to: Niobrara, Nebraska Niobrara County, Wyoming Niobrara River Niobrara National Scenic River Niobrara Formation, a geological unit Niobrara Township, Knox County, Nebraska This disambiguation page lists articles about distinct g …   Wikipedia

  • Niobrara Valley Preserve — The Niobrara Valley Preserve is a 56,000 acre (226 km sq.) conservation area in Brown and Keya Paha counties of Nebraska owned by the Nature Conservancy. The Niobrara River runs through a pine forested valley with prairies in the uplands.… …   Wikipedia

  • Niobrara State Park — Coordinates: 42°44′21″N 98°03′25″W / 42.73917°N 98.05694°W / 42.73917; 98.05694 …   Wikipedia

  • National River (Vereinigte Staaten) — Das Tal des New River, vom Hawk s Nest State Park aus gesehen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Niobrara — 42° 46′ 18″ N 98° 02′ 46″ W / 42.7717, 98.0461 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • National Park Passport Stamps — Example of a National Park Passport Stamp for the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area At nearly all of the 397 American National Park units (and many of the National Park Service s affiliated areas), one or more National Park Passport… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.