Road tripping across Nebraska this summer? Plan to stop at the Archway at I-80 Exit 275. Then, stay and play for a while in Kearney. We have plenty to offer for the most adventurous travelers.
Packing a bicycle? At the Archway, you can access some of Kearney’s most scenic hike/bike trails.
First, pick up a hike/bike trail map at the Archway’s Nebraska Visitor Information Center.
Then, you can bike 4.33 miles northwest to Kearney’s 80-acre Yanney Park where you’ll find a pond with a fishing pier, a splash-ground playground for fun, and a labyrinth walk for contemplation. Climb the 80-foot Gottschalk Observation Tower for a beautiful view of the park. Visit the Yanney Swan Shop to rent paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. You can also grab some ice cream or a snack at the concession stand. Access the Yanney Park website here: https://www.yanneypark.org/
It’s just a little further up the hike/bike trail, about another 4 miles, to Cottonmill Park. The central feature of the park is a 43-acre lake. You can also enjoy nature trails, picnic shelters, a disc golf course, and horseshoe courts. Access the Cottonmill Park webpage here: https://www.cityofkearney.org/1874/Cottonmill-Park
If you decide to travel south of the Archway on the hike/bike trail for about 4.5 miles, you’ll arrive at Fort Kearny, home of Fort Kearny State Historical Park and Fort Kearney State Recreation Area. From 1848 – 1871, the fort served as the gateway to the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails that followed the Great Platte River Road west to Fort Laramie. Visit the interpretive center, and see the rebuilt stockade, parade grounds, powder magazine, and carpenter and blacksmith shops. Access the Fort Kearny State Historical Park website here: http://outdoornebraska.gov/fortkearny/
At Fort Kearney State Recreation Area, you find a 186-acre camping ground with eight sandpit lakes for fishing and a swimming beach. There are excellent camping facilities, nature trails for hiking, shelters with grills for picnicking, and bridges that stretch over the Platte River. Access the Fort Kearney State Recreation Area website here: http://outdoornebraska.gov/fortkearnysra/
Use the hike/bike trail map for further exploration and you’ll discover trails that lead to Kearney’s Meadowlark North Park and Ted Baldwin Park on the west side of town and Nina Hammer Park and Harvey Park on the east side of town.
Don’t just make a rest stop. Stop at the Archway and turn your road trip into an epic adventure.
Here are a few other fun places to check out in Kearney:
The Bike Shed – https://www.headtotheshed.com/
Thunderhead Brewing – https://www.thunderheadbrewing.com/
Kitt’s Kitchen and Coffee –https://www.kittskitchen.com/
Tru Cafe – https://trucafekearney.com/