Nebraska is a state with outstanding natural landmarks and friendly cities in the midwestern region of the United States. The state got its name from the Otoe Indian word, “Flat Water”, because the river Platte flows through the state. Nebraska is also known as the “Cornhuskers state” because farmers used to harvest corn by husking it with their hands before the invention of husking equipment. Other nicknames of Nebraska are “Tree Planter’s state,” as the annually celebrated Arbor Day started here, and the “Beef State” for its significant cattle industry.
In the 1860s, Nebraska was admitted to the Union as the 37th state. From there on, it has progressed into becoming an agricultural state and the breadbasket of the United States. As the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln and the state’s other main city is Omaha.
Nebraska is often overlooked by visitors who often pass through on their way to other destinations. But if you take a closer look, you’ll find more to explore than you ever thought. From natural attractions to historical trails and archaeological sites, these landmarks in Nebraska will keep your interest at its peak.
- Nebraska Landmarks
- 20 Landmarks in Nebraska
- 1- Chimney Rock
- 2- Toadstool Geologic Park
- 3- Scotts Bluff National Monument
- 4- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
- 5- Indian Cave State Park
- 6- Ashfall Fossil Beds
- 7- Nebraska National Forest
- 8- Memorial Stadium
- 9- Durham Museum
- 10- Carhenge
- 11- Freedom Park
- 12- Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
- 13- Pioneer Village
- 14- Walker Gilmore Site
- 15- Nebraska State Capitol
- 16- Arbor Lodge State Historical Park
- 17- Ash Hollow Cave
- 18- Fort Atkinson, Fort Calhoun
- 19- Susan LaFlesche Picotte Hospital
- 20- Honoring-the-Clans Sculpture Garden and Cultural Plaza
- 20 Landmarks in Nebraska
20 Landmarks in Nebraska
1- Chimney Rock
One of the famous landmarks of Nebraska is Chimney Rock, near Bayard, a natural rock formation rising to 286 feet ( 87 m) from the surrounding land and 4,228 feet ( 1,289 m) above sea level.
This magnificent formation of rocks dates back to 25 to 26 million years ago and was the most prominent landmark during the 19th century for many expeditions like Oregon, Mormon, and California.
On August 9, 1956, Chimney Rock received the status of a National Historic Site and is managed by History Nebraska along with the National Park Service for technical support.
Learn more about the geology of the rock formations and the history of the ancient pathways at the visitor’s centre.
Chimney Rock is at 9822 County Rd 75, Bayard, NE 69334, United States.
2- Toadstool Geologic Park
Known as the “badlands of Nebraska” and “desert of the Pine Ridge”, Toadstool Geologic Park is a unique rock formation formed 38 to 24 million years old.
Toadstool Geologic Park has several fossil species, including ancient dogs (hesperocyon), horses (mesohippus), and rhinoceroses (subhyracodon), many of which were extinct and have no contemporary equivalents, such as brontotheres, oreodonts, and entelodonts.
A one-mile (1.6 km) long trail within the Park is famous for camping and hiking and has many prehistoric animal fossils, like hyaenodons and entelodonts.
Another famous trail one can take is the three-mile-long Bison trail, which ends at Hudson Meng Bonebed.
Toadstool Geologic Park is at Harrison, NE 69346, United States.
3- Scotts Bluff National Monument
Sprawled across the 3000 acres (1214 ha) along the North Platte River, the Scotts Bluff National Monument is an essential landmark for various travellers from natives to emigrants of Oregon, Mormon and California trails.
Scotts Hill National Monument is made up of two bluffs: South Bluff and the northern bluff, also known as Scotts Bluff.
The Saddle Rock trail is a popular hike in Scotts Bluff National Monument Park that offers one of this prehistoric site’s best experiences.
The Oregon Trail Museum and Visitor Center near the Bluffs foot serve as a starting point for hiking excursions.
Scotts Bluff National Monument is at 190276 Old Oregon Trail, Gering, NE 69341, United States.
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4- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Home to cowboy, rancher and naturalist, James Cook and his wife Kate, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is an internationally recognised fossil site.
The site is famous for its well-preserved Miocene fossils found on a large scale near Carnegie and University Hills.
Other famous sites in Agate Fossil Beds National Monument are Harrison Formation and Anderson Ranch Formation, which showcase significant Miocene fossils from 20 to 16.3 million years ago.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is at 301 River Rd, Harrison, NE 69346, United States.
5- Indian Cave State Park
The Indian Cave State Area, located in southeast Nebraska along the Missouri River, is a well-known public leisure and heritage conservation park.
The well-preserved prehistoric petroglyphs cave and the settlement of St. Deroin, which was part of the old Nemaha Half-Breed reservation in 1853, are essential sights to visit in the Indian Cave State Area.
The Park has 22 miles of hiking and biking trails, more than 15 miles of picnic and camping areas, and fishing and boating on the Missouri River.
Indian Cave State Park is at 65296 720 Rd, Shubert, NE 68437, United States.
6- Ashfall Fossil Beds
The Ashfall Fossil Beds are a unique fossil site in Nebraska that was home to numerous species million years ago that faced extinction due to a volcanic explosion that coated this area with volcanic ash.
The Ashfall Fossil Beds falls under the Serravallian age Ogallala group as a stratigraphical part famous for the fossils of middle Miocene geologic epoch mammals.
The Park’s 360-acre (150 ha) property contains a visitors centre, a fossil preparation laboratory, current excavation sites, and the Hubbard Rhino Barn, which has Teleoceras and ancient horse fossils.
Ashfall Fossil Beds is at 86930 517th Ave, Royal, NE 68773, United States.
7- Nebraska National Forest
The second-largest artificial forest in the world, Nebraska National Forest, is sprawled across 141,864 miles ( 574 sq. km) on the land of Nebraska sandhills.
The Nebraska National Forest includes the Bessey Ranger District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Pine Ridge Ranger District.
The National Forest offers ample recreational activities for its visitors, from ATV riding, hiking, hunting trails and so on.
Nebraska National Forest is bear Halsey at 125 N Main St, Chadron, NE 69337, United States.
8- Memorial Stadium
The Memorial Stadium at Lincoln, often known as the Sea of Red, is an American football stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, and home of the University of Nebraska football team.
The stadium was built in 1923 to honour the memories of the men and women who served in World War I.
Nebraska won its first match against Oklahoma in this stadium on October 13, 1923.
Memorial Stadium is at One Memorial Stadium Drive, Lincoln, NE 68588, United States.
9- Durham Museum
The mission of Durham Museum, formerly known as Durham Western Heritage Museum, is to showcase the history of the USA’s western areas.
The Union Station building was decommissioned in 1971 and presented to the city of Omaha in 1973.
It was converted into the Western Heritage Museum, exhibiting Omaha’s history via distinctive artefacts and refurbished art deco buildings.
The museum offers guided tours that presents information about Omaha’s communities, prominent residents and historical landmarks.
Durham Museum is at 801 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68108, United States.
Carhenge, created in 1987 in commemoration of farmer Jim Reinders’ father, is a recreation of England’s Stonehenge made from old vehicles.
Reinders used 38 automobiles sourced from wreckers and farms to build this monolithic henge with a 96-foot (29 m) circumference.
The surrounding area is decorated with other auto artwork created by spray painting automobiles in different colours.
Caring is at 2151 Co Rd 59, Alliance, NE 69301, USA.
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11- Freedom Park
Freedom Park is an outdoor museum and a park of the Greater Omaha Marina on the bank of the Missouri River.
The highlight of Freedom Park is the World War II US Navy minesweeper USS Hazard and tiny diesel submarine USS Marlin, which sit surreally on the Missouri River.
Other attractions in Freedom Park are the Anchor & Propeller Garden, Shipboard Rocket Launchers, and a Douglas A-4D Skyhawk Jet Fighter, among other aircraft.
Freedom Park of Nebraska is at 2497 Freedom Park Rd, Omaha, NE 68110, United States.
12- Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
The Archway pays homage to the history of the Great Platte River Road.
The Great Platte River Road Archway is also known as The Archway or Kearney Archway.
It’s a historical site that displays the stories of pioneers, explorers, and inventors who have walked the road since the mid-1800s and contributed to the development of America.
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is above Exit 275 in Kearney.
Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is at 3060 E 1st St, Kearney, NE 68847, United States.
13- Pioneer Village
Founded in 1953 by a Chicago manufacturer from Minden, Harold Warp, Pioneer Village is an attraction in Nebraska that tells the story of the early pioneers.
The Village is a sprawling museum spread across 20 acres (8 ha), with 28 buildings and 50,000 items on display.
The museum’s collection dates back to 1830 and contains artefacts like early automobiles, aircraft, tractors and farm machinery.
Pioneer Village in Nebraska is at 138 US-6, Minden, NE 68959, United States.
14- Walker Gilmore Site
The Walker Gilmore Site is an extensively layered archaeological site near Murray, above Sterns Creek.
The area consists of terraced levels with archaeological items like tools and pottery that have washed down from the slope above.
The Walker Gilmore Site was the first in the United States to discover indications of pre-village culture.
Walker Gilmore Site is at Queen Hill Rd, Plattsmouth, NE 68048, United States.
15- Nebraska State Capitol
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue built the Nebraska State Capitol in 1920, which served as the seat of the Nebraska state government in Lincoln.
The Nebraska State Capitol tower, which stands 400 feet (120 metres) tall and can be seen from 20 miles away, is the highest building in Lincoln ( 32 km).
The structure houses the Governor of Nebraska’s office, the Nebraska Supreme Court, the Nebraska Court of Appeals, and the Nebraska Legislature.
Nebraska State Capitol is at 1445 K St, Lincoln, NE 68508, United States.
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16- Arbor Lodge State Historical Park
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park was where the first Arbor Day, dedicated to public tree planting, was held in 1872.
It was formerly the Morton Family’s mansion, with 52 rooms and other historical relics.
The Park also has an Italian terraced garden, a greenhouse, a carriage house, a log cabin, walking pathways, over 200 species of lilacs, and a delightful whispering seat.
Arbor Lodge State Historical Park is at 2600 Arbor Ave, Nebraska City, NE 68410, United States.
17- Ash Hollow Cave
Near Lewellen, the Ash Hollow State Historical Park was a place for immigrants on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails to stop over.
The Park’s two main attractions are Ash Hollow Cave and Windlass Hill.
The Park now includes a schoolhouse, an old cave, a museum and a visitor centre with lovely views of the North Platte River Valley.
Ash Hollow State Historical Park of Lewellen is in Garden County, Nebraska, United States.
18- Fort Atkinson, Fort Calhoun
Fort Atkinson was the first post erected by the United States Army on the west bank of the Missouri River.
It was a key centre for western development and fur commerce and the home of ‘First Council Sculpture.’
The Otoe-Missouria tribe and the Lewis and Clark Expedition converged here.
The fort comprises a brickyard, lime kiln, stone quarry, grist mill, sawmill, and copper shop.
Fort Atkinson is at 201 S 7th St, Fort Calhoun, NE 68023, United States.
19- Susan LaFlesche Picotte Hospital
Dr Susan La Flesche Picotte created the first hospital on a reserve without federal assistance in 1913.
She created this hospital to avoid the long journeys patients had to make to Omaha or Sioux City for treatment.
In 1988, the hospital was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1933, it became a National Historic Landmark.
Susan LaFlesche Picotte Hospital is at Walthill, NE 68067, United States.
20- Honoring-the-Clans Sculpture Garden and Cultural Plaza
The Clans Sculpture Garden and Cultural Plaza tell the tale of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people’s 12 clans.
The Ho-Chunk moved to Nebraska due to a forced tribe relocation from the Green Bay, Wisconsin, region.
The garden portrays the tale of the tribe with 12 sculptures, each facing a circle along with a plaque outlining the clan’s significance.
Honoring-the-Clans Sculpture Garden and Cultural Plaza is at Ho-Chunk Plz, Winnebago, NE 68071, United States.
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