biking from Ainsworth ? which direction is the best -
S&J from Oklahoma on 06/15/2019 09:56 PM
We are planning to bike from Ainsworth on 6/16. Can anyone tell us which direction you would recommend...going east or west? This is probably the only time we will be able to bike this part of the trail. Thanks!
Trail Status Valentine Eastward -
Mrwhiskers from Bartlett TN on 06/04/2019 03:53 PM
Is trail open eastward from Valentine?
Is Norflok to Battle Creek open?
Alex from Lincoln on 06/05/2019 08:19 AM
This map has the most current information on closed segments of the cowboy trail.
johnr from Bellingham, WA on 06/12/2019 11:33 PM
The trail east of Valentine is open-ish. I just rode as much of it as possible last week from Valentine to Battle Creek. In fact, the best part of the trail, in my opinion, was the 15 - 20 miles directly and immediately east of Valentine. Here the trail wanders far from Highway 20, through the sand hills. Peaceful and beautiful. As you travel east pretty much anyplace that the trail crosses the Elkhorn River, the bridge has been washed out and there is no crossing the Elkhorn right now, so one must detour to Highway 20. It's worth it, however, to ride right up to the washout and then turn around because the sight of it is awesome. Much of the Cowboy trail between Valentine and Battle creek in right next to Highway 20 (literally 20 feet from the road) and not all that interesting.
Norfolk Daily News article -
Emily C. on 06/10/2019 04:32 PM
Hi all, I'm a reporter for the Norfolk Daily News and I'm working on an article about the Cowboy Trail. How have your plans been affected by trail closures? What does the Cowboy Trail mean to you? If you'd like to share your thoughts and experiences, feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Norfolk Daily News
Bill from Vancouver, WA on 06/10/2019 08:08 AM
Got chased by two dogs inbetween Battle Creek and Meadow Grove. One bit me. Reported this to Tilden PD who forwardedto County Sheriff's office.
State map says Cowboy Trail is open between Oakdale and Neligh but it is definitely NOT -
Karl from West Nyack,NY on 05/29/2019 07:06 AM
Riding the trail (and 275/20) the next few days. Yesterday, I found out the hard way that the state map at
is NOT a complete depiction of closures - that map shows the trail as open between Oakdale and a Neligh, but there is a huge washout at the elkhorn river bridge with swirling water in it.
There were “Trail Closed” signs, which I made the mistake of ignoring assuming the map would be up to date.
Dougt from Onawa, Ia. on 05/29/2019 09:51 AM
It's good to hear from someone about current trail conditions and hopefully you'll keep posting about conditions over the whole trail. I'll do it again in Sept and plan on Norfolk to O'Neill for my first day and my last day. It looks like a lot of that will be detoured off of the trail from the map that is posted. Any info is appreciated. Thanks!
Alex from Lincoln on 05/30/2019 03:59 PM
The map has not been updated yet but will be shortly to show Bridge 211, west of Oakdale, being closed. That damage occurred very recently.
Opedaler from Northeast Ne on 05/31/2019 02:09 AM
This poor trail just keeps getting hammered. I don't know what the future holds for the Cowboy trail. I hope it is resilient because from what I can see some major repairs are needed.
Cynthya from Salina on 05/31/2019 07:10 AM
Let's hope the weather lets up and the state of Nebraska goes to bat for the tell. We rode The Trail in 2017 from one end to the other and back. There were rough spots then, but we enjoyed the ride and planned to come back.
John from SD on 05/31/2019 07:12 AM
Yesterday, (May 30th, 2019) I was on the section of the trail from Norfolk to Battle Creek. This section of the trail was open and not damaged. When I arrived to Battle Creek to continue on the trail, there was a large sign posted "Trail Closed Until Further Notice". That's when I turned around and headed back to Norfolk.
Riding through Nebraska -
Dan from Evanston, IL on 05/22/2019 05:38 AM
I was planning on doing the Cowboy Trail mid-June (going from Denver to Lincoln), but I've changed plans due to the flooding and trail closures/uncertainty. Does anyone have any thoughts on doing the Lincoln Highway instead? I would still like to do a Nebraska ride, but I'm not sure about alternatives. Thank you.
Alex from Lincoln on 05/22/2019 08:22 AM
Here is a map for the current Cowboy Trail closures: https://maps.outdoornebraska.gov/Trails/
The trail is passable from Valentine to Norfolk but there are a number of detours needed to get around the closed sections.
If you are in search for some rail trail riding in NE, you can combine the Homestead and Chief Standing Bear Trail for some good mileage from Lincoln to Marysville, KS. It's a nice route with some neat historical stops along the way such as Homestead National Monument.
Or if you have the proper bike setup I'd highly recommend these routes listed on Bikepacking.com.
I have not ridden the Lincoln Highway before but have driven it. The highway traffic in some areas could posed a problem as there is not a shoulder in many sections.
Check out NDOT's bike map with traffic counts to see if you're up for that.
Let me know if you have any more questions!
Biking Brian on 05/30/2019 07:10 AM
If you do end up doing Lincoln Hwy, I rode it back in 2016 across Nebraska up to Scotts Bluff then down to Denver and most of that is nice wide shoulders, easy for biking. I have some videos in this playlist of my ride if you want a better look. Looking forward to riding the Cowboy Trail up through the Black Hills in June this year. Safe Travels!
Clark Martinson from Houston on 05/28/2019 09:02 PM
joining BRAN this weekend and plan on riding Valentine to Atkinson Cowboy trail. Can a carbon fiber bike with 25 cm Continental Gator Slkins work? Or would a Steel touring bike with 32 cm Panasonic Graveling tires be a better choice?
Dougt from Onawa, Ia. on 05/29/2019 09:46 AM
I rode the trail both ways last Sept and would imagine that conditions are worse now after the flood. I'm a road biker but wouldn't even consider a road bike for this trip. I rode a mtn bike with 2 1/2" tires and had no problems, but there were areas that were rough. Look for my posting about trail conditions.
Electric Bike on the Trail -
Tom on 05/25/2019 04:07 PM
I am exploring the possibility of riding an ebike on the trail. The model is a Radpower Radmini, which is a folding multi-purpose trail bike with 20" wheels, 4" knobby fat tires with puncture protection (Kenda K-Shield), and front suspension. I have two questions. The first is - are there any prohibitions against an ebike on the trail (it's a Class 2 bike with throttle capable of a top speed of 20mph)? Second question - I would plan on about 35 miles per battery charge, so I am hoping there are spots along the trail where I can plug in and re-charge the battery (I am trying to avoid the weight and cost of a second battery)? In reading several posts I see where some campsites have electricity and others don't. I would hope the locals along the trail would not have any issues if I had a meal in a cafe while charging up the battery.
And just so this doesn't become a discussion between ebikes v. human-power bikes, I am a senior who has physical issues which make the ebike option one that actually allows me to even consider this trip. Thanks for your understanding.
Tom on 05/25/2019 04:14 PM
One clarification: the ebike has a pedal assist feature, which provides motor assistance at a specified level of power. It's not a question of simply using the available throttle as if it were a moped or scooter. I do intend to pedal the bike at a low power assist, hopefully most times at 3 or below (range is 1-5).
Ewing City Park in Ewing -
Scott Bigler from Boulder, UT on 05/16/2019 06:34 PM
Our first night is planned in Ewing. Is there actually no place to camp? Suggestions, please.
Cynthya from Salina on 05/17/2019 10:05 AM
We camped at an RV park in Ewing. Most of the little towns have some kind of City Psrk and were very accommodating. I would think you could camp at RV park as well. At the time we were there, there were plenty of goat heads.
riding the cowboy triail -
Lori from Berthoud, Colorado on 05/05/2019 10:37 PM
We are planning to bike the trail over Memorial Day weekend, but after reading some of the posts, we are wondering if the trail is open after some flooding? We plan to begin in Valentine and work our way east. Look forward to an update. Thank you.
Lux from Lincoln, Nebraska on 05/15/2019 09:25 AM
Here’s a link to the latest information from the trail manager, Alexander Duryea:
“The cowboy trail will not be entirely open from Valentine to Norfolk for quite some time due to the flood. We are on pace to open Norfolk to Battle Creek, Valentine to Long Pine, and some other sections by May 1st but if we have any further flooding it could delay the opening of those sections. I am working on a map that has open and closed sections that should be posted on www.outdoornebraska.gov/cowboytrail in a week or two. That map will be updated as we are able to repair sections of trail so check back there for updates. You will likely have to find detours around the closed sections. There are several bridges, more on the eastern end, that are out – they will be marked on the map. There are tons of great gravel roads that you can utilize for detours as well as the highway.”
Alex from Lincoln on 05/15/2019 11:55 AM
The map is live here: https://maps.outdoornebraska.gov/Trails/
It has not been added to our cowboy trail web-page yet but should be added soon. The map will be updated as we complete repairs but it probably won't be changing much in the next month. Utilized the highway shoulder or gravel roads if you have an appropriate bike for that to detour around the closed sections. And please stay off closed bridges, there are a few you will have to detour around.
Two Rivers Motel in Ewing -
Cindy Sheets from Perkins, OK on 05/07/2019 01:09 PM
We camped at the Two Rivers Motel one night while riding the Cowboy Trail last summer. The owner, Vonnie, was hands-down the most hospitable person we met during our week-long ride. Despite being booked full, she allowed us to camp in her backyard, and she even provided firewood and use of her firepit. Such a lovely and interesting person! We're so glad we found that place.
Cowboy Trail is Temporarily CLOSED due to Flooding -
Alex from Lincoln on 03/14/2019 09:12 AM
Hi folks the Cowboy Trail in many areas is closed due to SEVERE FLOODING as of 3/14/19. I will post updates on here when I can get out and assess the damage.
Tim from Louisville Colorado on 03/19/2019 06:57 PM
Is the flooding bad, does anyone know if the trail will reopen after the flood? I'm planning on a ride this spring.
Dan from Evanston, IL on 03/20/2019 04:00 AM
I'm planning a ride across Nebraska in June. I assume (and hope for our Nebraska friends' sake) that the trail is open by then. But will its condition likely be such (e.g., pitting, deep holes) that it would be better to take a different route across the state? I know that this is speculative, but if someone has insights on this, I would be grateful to hear them. Thank you.
J Rowse from Louisville on 03/30/2019 03:59 PM
Watching..... hoping to ride trail in August
Karl from West Nyack, NY on 04/02/2019 11:04 AM
I am hoping to ride this in late May/early June, so I will be looking for updates also, I guess route 20 is also an option. How far west did the flooding go?
Nathan from Madison, WI on 04/08/2019 10:49 AM
Have been saddened to see how bad the flooding has been. We have been planning to ride the Cowboy Trail in early May, Valentine to Norfolk. Hoping that can still happen. We would also appreciate any local, first-hand updates as to status and trail conditions. Thanks!
Alex from Lincoln on 04/10/2019 11:58 AM
In the next couple weeks I will post a map on www.outdoornebraska.gov/cowboytrail that will outline the open and closed sections of the trail. This map will be updated as we complete repairs and can open up more sections. Currently the trail is still closed from Valentine to Norfolk but sections could start opening by May 1. Several bridges were structually damaged and will be closed for some time, requiring detours around them. The map on our website will be the most up to date for current closures.
Anyone with questions can reach me at email@example.com or 402-471-5443.
PatTheExpat from Stockholm, Sweden on 04/28/2019 01:37 PM
I planned on biking the trail in early July and need to access updates but the site www.outdoornebraska.gov has not been accessible since I first started trying it about a month ago. When I check if there's a problem, by running the address through downforeveryoneorjustme.com, it states that the site "looks down from here".
Not sure if that's because of recent change in European privacy law, that some US sites still adapted to, or if it's technical. Any ideas?
Ray (webmaster) on 04/28/2019 03:27 PM
Pat, that website is definitely up. And when I use the tool that you mentioned, it says "It's just you. outdoornebraska.gov is up."
If you're still not seeing it, try a different browser. Not sure if that will make a difference, but that's always my first suggestion when a website dosen't seem to be acting right.
If that doesn't solve it, then I would guess the website is blocking you because you have a European IP address - but I don't know WHY it would do that.
I could not find any way to reach the webmaster there, but I submitted a question through their general "Contact Us" page. Will post here if I hear anything.
Trail closure -
Jonathan from Omaha on 04/24/2019 08:21 PM
How much of the trail is still open. How Far East can you currently ride the trail from Valentine.
Bike Hire -
Keith minnett from Cambridge UK on 04/02/2019 02:45 AM
Can anyone advise if there is bike hire available in the vicinity.
Alex from Lincoln on 04/23/2019 08:54 AM
Call North Fork Outfitting - (402) 316-0157
They are located in Norfolk, NE.
Cindy from Bartlett on 04/21/2019 08:00 PM
Where is a good place to leave your car in Norfolk while riding for several days?
Alex from Lincoln on 04/23/2019 08:49 AM
The Cowboy Trail trail-head at Ta-Ha-Zouka park in Norfolk has a few dedicated spots for overnight parking. I've never had an issue leaving my vehicle there and it is patrolled by the local PD.