Cowboy Trail re-opened from Norfolk to O’Neill
A section of the Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail closed last June because of flooding damage has re-opened, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Approximately 72 miles of trail from Norfolk to O’Neill were closed when the Elkhorn River flooded. Game and Parks has re-opened that section, including an alternate route around three areas still closed because of damage.
Trail users should use caution, as the alternate routes take users on the roadway. A map of the trail, including alternate routes, may be found at: http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/gisapps/trails/.
Work that remains includes:
– Repair a trail washout and replace a bridge southwest of Norfolk. Completion is expected by the spring of 2012.
– Repair 111/2 miles of trail between Norfolk and Neligh. Completion is expected by the end of this fall.
– Repair 12 miles of trail and replace a bridge between Neligh and O’Neill. Completion is expected by the fall of 2012.
The Cowboy Trail, at 195 miles from Norfolk to Valentine, is the country’s longest rail-to-trail conversion and Nebraska’s first state recreational trail. The old Chicago and Northwestern Railroad right-of-way was accepted as a donation from the Rails to Trails Conservancy in 1994. The trail traces the route the railroad took from northeast Nebraska to South Dakota’s Black Hills.