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Reply to Trail condition and how much highway riding has to be done?

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Isaac Terwilleger from LINCOLN,NE on 5/13/2021 9:39:11 PM:
Watched a video of a couple who rode the Cowboy within the last year. Lots of spots they needed to walk their bikes because the limestone and some red stuff was so soft. Also they had to ride on Highway 20 as parts of the trail looked like they were not rideable (like tall grass and no trail). Is the trail a thru trail. Will the trail be hard-packed in September?

Alex from Lincoln on 5/14/2021 3:02:00 PM:
Greetings! There are some sections of the trail that still have damage from the 2019 flooding. The trail has been fixed with some temporary repairs to make it passable but some areas are a rough still. When the flood occurred, in addition to removing vast sections of the limestone surfacing, it deposited sand in many locations which makes the trail difficult to compact properly. Here's a list of the main detours you will need to do this year. - The Elkhorn river eroded around the the trail bridge over it between Oakdale and Neligh. Use the highway shoulder between Oakdale and Neligh for about 4 miles. - Just west of Neligh there is a short stretch next to the Elkhorn river that has eroded into the trail right of way severely. You will be able to see some construction cones on the trail. You will need to ride on the adjacent highway shoulder for roughly 1/4 mile and then can jump back on the trail. - Between Neligh and Clearwater there is a section of trail that is permanently closed due the Elkhorn river reclaiming the trail in this section. You will need to take 519th ave back to the highway and ride around on the highway for about 3 miles. You can take 517th ave and head south to get back on to the cowboy trail. There is a sign directing you to the highway when you should get off the trail. About a 2.5 mile detour for this one. - The next closed spot is on the east edge of Long Pine. A large section of the trail embankment was washed out due to a culvert failure from the flood. To detour around, take 440th rd to the highway and then come back in to Long Pine and find the trail by the park on the main road, about 2.5 miles. The online trail map shows the closed sections in red where impassable flood damages exist. I recommend when riding the trail to use a gravel or mountain bike if possible. Something with a 40c+ tire width is best to help with the softer sections of the trail.

Charles from Fort Collins on 5/17/2021 5:03:26 PM:
Seems like there is another trail closure according to the map, right outside of Valentine past the Niobrara bridge. Seems like a shame to miss the cool bridge view, so I might just ride over it and backtrack if needed along highway 20/83/Blue Star Memorial Highway.