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Current Trail Conditions and Re-opening

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Nebraska Game and Parks Commission from Lincoln, Nebraska on 6/3/2011 10:33:54 AM:
Thanks everyone for your interest in the Cowboy Trail. Here at Game and Parks Commission, we just learned this site existed so sorry for the delay on getting responses back about current trail conditions.

The following press release is set to go out today and should answer most of the inquiries. If any questions still exist, feel free to shoot an email directly over or post a follow up here. Thanks again.

Cowboy Trail Re-Opened from Norfolk to Valentine!
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recently re-opened 68 miles of the Cowboy Trail, which was damaged in the June 2010 flood of the Elkhorn River. Approximately 72 miles of trail, from Norfolk to O’Neill, were closed and multiple bridges damaged from the event. Three areas of the trail remain closed due to safety concerns, but alternate routes have been designated around those segments. The alternate routes take users on street, so the rules of the road apply. Cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians should stay alert when using the designated alternate routes. The map of the trail, including the alternate routes may be found at: Users may encounter rough surfacing in some locations, but the trail is still passable. Those areas of rough surfacing have been identified on the map.

A new bridge is being designed to replace the old Railroad Bridge along with a wash out of the trail near Norfolk and is expected to be completed by spring of 2012. Trail surfacing repair to 11.5 miles of trail from Norfolk to Neligh will occur by the end of fall of 2011. An additional 12 miles of trail from Neligh to O’Neill and replacement of a bridge near Ewing are slated to be completed by fall of 2012. Funding for these projects will be from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration and the Cowboy Trail Maintenance Cash Fund from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Pat from Lincoln, Ne on 4/2/2012 5:56:30 PM:
It is April 2012 and I didn't see any evidence of "trail surfacing repair" on the trail between Norfolk and Oakdale. The trail is not crushed limestone and is very soft and looks like repairs were done with sand. Tough cycling. There is damage from farm and livestock use. On the trail website nothing is noted about the bridge not being completed and no explanation of where to access the trail.
It would have been so lovely to have the expected "Rails to Trails" surface that I find on the Katy, the East Mopac, the Homestead, Wabash, Jamaica and other Rails to Trails in surrounding states.
Is there a volunteer group that could help maintain the trail?