Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail

photo:  Photo by Cassandra Peters. Type: Rail Trail, Snow Trail, Urban Trail
Length: 195.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement)
Bicycling (off pavement)
Dogs - Mushing
Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation
Agency: State
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

See more details.

Become an NRT Ambassador

Join a cadre of volunteers to help improve the data on this trail.


Location: Norfolk to Chadron, Nebraska
States: Nebraska
Counties: Madison, Antelope, Holt, Rock
Latitude: 42.00415   Longitude: -97.42534

Driving directions are not available for this trail. Can you provide this missing data?


The Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail is notable for many reasons including being the Nation's longest rail-to-trail conversion and Nebraska's first State recreational trail. The historic Chicago and Northwestern Railroad right-of-way, now the Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail, passes through spectacular Nebraska scenery as it travels from Norfolk west through the Elkhorn River Valley. Farmsteads, cropland, and timber-covered riverbanks dot the landscape. Currently 64 miles of this trail are open for public use. When finished this hiking, biking, and equestrian trail will stretch 321 miles across Nebraska, making it the longest rail-to-trail conversion in the Nation. The trail will pass over 221 bridges and through 29 communities.

Additional Details

Width: 120 inches.
Primary Surface: Concrete
Secondary Surface: Concrete
Crushed Rock

Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Year Designated: 2001

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Document: Brochure
Website: Cowboy Trail Guide
Website: Photo Slide Show
Website: Nebraska Parks - trail information
Website: Bike the Cowboy Trail

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Duane Westerholt
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 N. 33rd St.
Lincoln , NE 68503
(402) 471-5511



 Photo by Cassandra Peters.

Photo by Cassandra Peters.


No reviews are available. Be the first to leave one!


Enter our contest

We're giving away one Trail Boss mug per month through the end of 2018. Leave a review of this or any trail to be entered into the drawing.

Suggest an Edit

Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact us below: