Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their famous journey of the West. While exploring
Nebraska in their expedition, they closely followed the
in the northeast corner of the state. Today, Nebraska
celebrates the pairís fabled journey along the Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway.
The byway begins just south of Blair, Nebraska
and continues north along Highway 75 to South Sioux City for 67 miles.
Highway 75 parallels the Missouri
River, where a long history of
Americans, trappers and traders have left their historical marks.
Traveling along one of Nebraska most scenic routes, you will experience lakes, rivers,
heavily wooded areas, river bluffs, two
Reservations and some of Nebraska earliest settlements.
scenic byway actually begins just south of Blair, you might want to
begin your trip in Omaha, some 25 miles south of Blair, on Highway 75,
and make your journey a fun and historically filled all day trip.
In Omaha, you can see Fort Omaha, at 30th and Fort Streets, which was
the army headquarters during the wars against the
Plains Indians, and the home of
General George Crook. You can also experience a number of museums,
including the Durham Western Heritage Museum, the Great Plains Black
History Museum, and the Joslyn Art Museum. Visit the
Lewis and Clark Landing to get a virtual taste of the cityís fine food and
entertainments, and donít forget that Omaha is home to Father
Flanniganís Boys Town, where Edward J. Flanagan started programs to
help troubled children learn how to become responsible citizens. The
village was made famous by the 1938 award-winning movie "Boys Town,"
staring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney. Lewis and Clark Landing.
Continuing north along
Highway 75 you will soon see the signs pointing to Fort
Atkinson State Historical Park just west of the scenic byway. It
was at this site that Lewis and Clark met with Native Americans on the "Council Bluff" near the spot where
Fort Atkinson was later located. Fort Atkinson was the first and largest military post west of the
Missouri River, established in 1820 serving as a garrison for some
1,000 soldiers within its walls. Soon it became an important gateway
to the fur region of the Upper
Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains. In 1827, the fort was
abandoned so that the military could concentrate its efforts further
south where there was more traffic going west.
Next you will see the Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge,
which covers approximately 3200 acres west of the
River. The refuge provides nature trails, picnic areas, biking,
fishing, canoeing, and bird watching.
Five miles east of Blair on US Highway 30, you can see another
wildlife refuge -- the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge provides great
sights of migrating ducks and geese. Lying in the
Missouri River Valley, the refuge is also called home to all
manner of wildlife including deer, cottontails, raccoons, coyotes, and
Various trails weave throughout the refuge to allow visitors a
chance to enjoy the plant and animal life. In addition to these
natural features, you can see the hull of of the 178 foot Bertrand
steamboat that lies buried in a pond and 200,000 cargo artifacts from
the 1865-era steamboat. The Bertrand sternwheeler sank in the
River on its way to deliver mining supplies to
1865. Fishing and boating are also available. Black Elk/Neihardt Park
Home of The Four Winds can be seen in Blair commemorating two great
men - Black Elk, a Lakota
chief and John G. Neihardt.
park includes many reminders of the vision of Black Elk, most prominent
being the Tower of Four Winds. This tower stands 45 feet high and includes
a tall cross featuring a mosaic composed of approximately 50,000 pieces.
The large mosaic features a messiah figure with outstretched arms, while
smaller mosaics are located throughout the park. This monument stands as a
reminder of Black Elk's vision of peace and unity for all people. The park is located at College Drive and 32nd Street in Blair.
Continuing onto Tekamah, you can see many historic sites
in the town, such as the Tekamah City Bridge, John Henry Stork Log House,
the E. C. Houston House, and the Spielman house owned by Delmar and Elaine
Chamberlain. The Burt County Museum is located in the E.C. Houston House.
On the museum grounds you can visit a one-room schoolhouse
and a 1908 house. The Pelican Point Recreation Area and Summit Lake
State Recreation area both provide recreation opportunities for visitors
and locals alike. Pelican Point State Recreation Area has a boat ramp for
access to the
MissouriRiver. There are picnic areas, opportunities to go fishing,
and camping facilities available. Summit Lake State Recreation Area
provides opportunities to go camping, hiking, boating, fishing, swimming,
Reservation is located along the byway north of Tekamah. According to
oral tradition, the
River was the location where this tribe first settled and have remained in
the area for over 400 years. A Harvest Festival Pow Wow is held
every August in Macy.
Reservation west of Winnebago is home to a Annual Homecoming Pow Wow held
each July that celebrates the homecoming of its last great war chief,
Little Priest and 75 of his warriors.
The Pow Wow sports
colorful clothing and beautiful singing and dancing in celebration of
Little Priest, who was imprisoned in
along with his warriors after the Winnebago tribe had been uprooted
from their Minnesota home and forced to live in
South Dakota ,
and then later in
Today, the tribe is is promoting tourism and has developed a large
bison herd and visitors center where visitors can learn the cultural
importance of bison to the Plains tribal culture.
Floyd Monument Park is located just before entering South Sioux City
and commemorates Sergeant Charles Floyd, a volunteer engineer and US
soldier on the
Clark Expedition. Floyd had joined the Army in Kentucky on 1803 and accompanied the
expedition through Council Bluffs, where they met with local
Indian chiefs. In August,
Floyd became ill with what many believe was a ruptured appendix. He
died on August 20, 1804 and his grave was marked with a cedar post
engraved with his name and date of death. Because his grave was
located near the
erosion caused much of his grave to be washed down the river.
Citizens of the area preserved many of the bones and placed his grave 200
yards east of the original burial site. The 100 foot high obelisk monument
was completed in 1901 and registered as the first National Historic
Landmark in 1960. Floyd was the only US soldier to die on the
Lewis and Clark Expedition.
South Sioux City was once known as the "wildest little
town on the
Missouri " during Frontier days. Today the city features a
metropolitan area, but still maintains the friendly feel of a rural
small town. Crystal Cove, along the
River, has a boat ramp for fishing boats, swimming beach, picnic area,
and a paved walking trail. There are several historic buildings
located in the city, including the Meisch House, built in 1888, which
is an example of the "square" or "cubic" house. The Emmanuel Lutheran
Church was the first Lutheran Church built in the
Territory. The O'Connor House is a historical two-story brick home,
built by Captain Cornelius O'Connor for his wife and eight children.
Though the Lewis &
Clark Scenic Byway ends at South Sioux
City, if you havenít had enough scenic views, you can check out the Outlaw
Trail Byway which begins here and travels through the "Old
WestĒ to Valentine along
Nebraska Highway 12.
Enjoy your trip along the Lewis
& Clark Scenic Byway
where you can share the path where trappers, traders, and American Indians
once lived and traveled.
National Wildlife Refuge -
The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge provides great sights of wildlife as well
as the hull of the Bertrand steamboat that lies buried in a pond and
200,000 cargo artifacts from the 1865-era steamboat.
1434 316th Lane,
Missouri Valley, Iowa 51555,
Atkinson State Historical Park
- Fort Atkinson was the first and largest military post west of the
River, established in 1820 serving as a garrison for some 1,000 soldiers
within its walls. Volga River State
Recreation Area, 10225 Ivy Road, Fayette, Iowa 52142, 563-425-4161.
Fort Omaha -
Fort Omaha was
the army headquarters during the wars against the Plains
and the home of General George Crook. Located
at 30th and Fort Streets in Omaha,
Nebraska. Run by the Douglas
County Historical Society, 5730 N. 30 St, #11B, Omaha,
General Crook House Museum Phone - 402-455-9990
National Wildlife Refuge - Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge is a satellite refuge
National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge opened in 1996. It is a joint
federal and local conservation partnership to restore a portion of the
River habitat that flows through a 2-mile-long channel paralleling the
main flow of the river. The site, consisting of about 3,200 acres, is
located on the west side of the
River, 3 miles east of the town of Fort Calhoun,
Nebraska. Located 8 miles north of Omaha, it attracts
visitors from throughout the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area.
Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 69, Fort Calhoun, NE 68023,
Burt County Museum - Includes the The E.C. Houston House, C.D.
Houston House, the Nolana one-room schoolhouse, and the surrounding
grounds offer visitors a historic and charming glimpse into the rich
heritage of the Burt County Area. Free admission, donations
appreciated. Hours: Open 1-5 p.m. Tues., Thurs., and Sat. or
by appointment for larger groups. Located on Highway 75 at 319 North
13th Street, Tekamah,
Nebraska. (402) 374-1505
& Clark Interpretive Center - From the
moment you arrive on the grounds of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
in Sioux City, you'll begin your journey back in time...back to the days
when the Corps of Discovery made its historic journey up the
Missouri River, traveling past
present-day Sioux City. Interstate 29, Exit #149, Hamilton
Boulevard, Larson Park Rd, Sioux City,
Sergeant Floyd Monument - This 100 foot high stone obelisk memorializes Sergeant
Charles Floyd, who died on the 1804Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Overlooking a breathtaking view of the
Missouri River on Highway 75 near Glenn
Avenue, it is the first historic landmark registered by the U.S.
Government in 1960. US Highway 75 & Glenn Ave, Sioux City,
Sergeant Floyd Welcome Center & Museum
- This dry docked former
Missouri River inspection ship now houses
a museum, gift shop and information center. Exit 149 off I-29 to South
Larsen Park Road. Winter hours, Daily 9am-5pm. Free admission. 712-279-0198, Interstate 29, Exit #149, Hamilton Boulevard, Larson Park
Rd, Sioux City,
Sioux City Art
Center - This breath taking 45,000 square
foot facility houses a three story glass atrium, six exhibition galleries
to house traveling exhibits and a permanent collection gallery for the
Center's 900 piece collection. Hours: Tue., Wed., Fri and Sat
10am-5pm, Thu noon-9pm, Sun 1-5pm. 712-279-6272, 225
Nebraska St, Downtown Sioux City,
City Public Museum - The Museum's exhibits
include Sioux City history and
artifacts. Hours: Wed.-Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 1-5pm. 712-279-6174, 2901
Jackson St, Sioux City,
of America, updated March, 2017.