ElevationAscent: 1,582' 482 m
Descent: -513' -156 m
High: 2,738' 835 m
Low: 1,515' 462 m
GradeAvg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)
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“The Cowboy Trail is one of the country’s longest rail-trails stretching 196 miles across Nebraska.”— Alex Duryea
Starting in Norfolk and stretching 321 miles west to Chadron, this is one of the longest Rails-to-Trails projects in the US. This mapped route covers the 196 miles of the trail between Norfolk and Valentine that uses a crushed limestone surface, which makes for a great tread for biking.
This path is also used for walking, running, and horseback riding, so please respect right-of-way signs.
When the railroad was first built, it was constructed at a grade of 2% or less, which was the regulated maximum for locomotives. For the same reason, there are no tight turns. Both of these trail characteristics lend themselves to an extremely enjoyable user experience, whether you're running, biking, or riding horseback.
Keep your eyes open along the trail for some old milepost markers, which were originally erected as telegraph poles. A number of these mark the distance to Fremont, which is the easternmost trailhead.
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed
Feb 18, 2020: Lincoln City Nature Challenge
Feb 4, 2020: Educator Events
Jan 3, 2020: Lake McConaughy SRA Visitor Management Plan