Forest Activity

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The most obvious option for hiking is in the Nebraska National Forest.  It offers more than 90,000 acres of rolling hills, trees, and wildlife.  If you’re looking for a place to stretch your legs, break away from the usual outdoor destinations, come to the Sandhills.

Or take a relaxing stroll through on the Discovery Loup Trail. A three-fourth mile loop through the Bessey Arboretum, near the Headquarters Office at the Nebraska National Forest. Pick up a map and see if you can find the 54 trees on the trail

Float the River

There are two rivers in Thomas County that can offer you a variety of canoeing or kayaking and tubing options.  The Dismal and Middle Loup rivers are both spring-fed and flow consistently throughout the year. For a truly unique experience, try tanking, a leisurely float down the Middle Loup River in a livestock tank. Bring friends, bring family, bring total strangers, it doesn’t matter as long as everyone wants to have a good time. For information and equipment rentals call 308-533-2224 or 308-880-0121,

Horseback Riding

Thomas County is right in the middle of some of the worlds best ranch land.  Horses are a part of our culture.  There are trails throughout the Nebraska National Forest as well as horse camping sites. For more information, click here.


In addition to the Middle Loup and Dismal River, the Pond at the Nebraska National Forest provides good fishing opportunities. The Forest Pond is easy to get to and has a handicap accessible fishing dock. Our rural location means that you won’t deal with the kind of crowding you’re likely to see in more populous places.


The Nebraska National Forest offers a wide range of trials and scenery for those of you who think walking’s for suckers.  After all why else would god have invented the internal combustion engine if not to use it to enjoy the natural world at a speed normally reserved for four legged predators.  Bring your ATV’s and enjoy Thomas County. For more information, click here.


Yet another benefit of being out, away from everything.  There’s almost no light pollution in Thomas County which allows visitors to experience some of the most majestic night skies in the country.  It’s the perfect way to end a great day in the Sandhills. You’ll want to be in the area for the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. Two Sandhills villages will be in the center of the path of totality and are planning special events to celebrate. Fore more information, click here.