Central Nebraska Viewing Guide

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(click for enlarge map)

Public Crane Viewing Locations
(Public pull-offs indicated in orange)

A Fort Kearney Hike Bike Trail. Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily. Cost: Entry permit required. Information: (308) 865-5305. Open Historical March 4–mid-April. Viewers can access an old rail bridge providing views of the river. Five minute walk over level ground. Good place for family viewing.

B Central Platte Natural Resource District Roadside (CPNRD) pull-off. Hours: Open daylight hours. Cost: None. Information: (308) 385-6282. Open year-round. Off-street parking.

C Rowe Sanctuary and Audubon Center. Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Sun., Feb. 15–April 15 open daily 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Cost: Donations accepted, fee for guided tours. Information: (308) 468-5282, www.rowesanctuary.org. Open year-round. Address: 44450 Elm Island Rd. 9, Gibbon, NE 68840 (I-80 Exit 285—south two miles then west two miles). Guided tours, visitor center, trails, gift shop, daily crane classes, restrooms, travel information.

D Plautz CPNRD pull-off. Hours: Open daylight hours. Cost: None. Information: (308) 385-6282. Open year-round. Off-street parking and raised public viewing deck.

E Alda CPNRD pull-off. Hours: Open daylight hours. Cost: None. Information: (308) 385-6282. Open year-round. Off-street parking and raised public viewing deck.

F The Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Sun., Mar. 1–April 1 open daily 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Cost: Donations accepted, fee for guided tours. Information: (308) 382-1820, www.nebraskanature.org. Open year-round. Address: 9325 South Alda Road, Wood River, NE 68883 (I-80 Exit 305). Guided tours, visitor center, trails, gift shop, daily crane classes, restrooms, travel information.

G&H Hall County CPNRD pull-off. Hours: Open daylight hours. Cost: None. Information: (308) 385-6282. Open year-round. Off-street parking and raised public viewing deck.

Blue Dots (indicate historical areas of interest; not comprehensive)

1 Burlington Missouri River Railroad marker. Several hundred yards north on Hwy. 10 from the intersection of 50A and V Road. Several interesting histories of the first railroad south of the Platte River and early settlement in the Platte valley.

2 Albert Holl pioneer grave marker. From the intersection of 50A and Hwy. 10, go three miles east on V Road. Death of a child of an early homesteader. There are many unmarked graves through the Platte River valley from the Great Migration, mostly from disease.

3 The Carpenter House. Carpenter Road (between Elm Island Road and Lowell Road). This is a private residence; please observe from the road. E. F. Carpenter was an early store owner in Lowell and had his sons build this house with concrete blocks. It is said that it took 17 railroad cars of cement to make enough blocks to build this two-story home with 18 rooms.

4 Lowell State historical marker. One mile east of the Carpenter House. Boomtown of 1872. Many Wild West stories of gunfights during its early years as a railhead for cattle drives from the south.

5 Valley City, Pony Express and Oregon Trail markers. One and one-quarter miles north of Lowell on Gibbon/Lowell Road.

6 Susan Hail and Pony Express markers. Denman, then approx three miles south. The Susan Hail grave marker is one-quarter mile east of the historical markers.

7 Martin Brothers historical marker. At the intersection of South Alda Road and West Platte River Drive.

Immigration in Nebraska