Visitors can walk in the “footsteps” of Lewis & Clark. Some of the same plants and animals they observed as they explored this area in July of 1804 are still here today.

Earth Lodge Trail: A 550’ trail from the Center to the Indian Earth Lodge. The surface is asphalt that is handicapped accessible.

River Overlook Trail: A 600’ wood mulch surface trail starting at the Center and ending at a river overlook viewing area that is 192’ above the “Mighty Mo” (Missouri River).

Birding Trail: A 790’ wood mulch trail starting at the Center and ending at the river overlook viewing area. There is a small amphitheater along the trail ideal for bird watching.

Limestone Bluff Trail: A quarter mile trail starting near the earth lodge and ending near the river overlook viewing area. Part of the trail is wood mulch but most of it is just the forest floor. Probably not accessible during wet weather.

Meadow Trail: A grass surface trail beginning at the picnic area near the parking lot and running along the edge of a timber area then around and through a prairie area. A hike on this trail can be as long as 2 miles and as short as one mile. Along the way trees, grasses and wildflowers have been identified.

A map of all trails are available in the Visitors Center.

Steamboat Trail

Trailhead for Steamboat Trace Trail

The land and strategic positioning of the Center allow an unobstructed downstream view of the Missouri River. It also will open an access route to the 21-mile Steamboat Trace Trail from Nebraska City to Brownville and will connect to a future trail system through Nebraska City. The trace trail will offer an exciting historic dimension to those following the Lewis and Clark trail, that of walking in some of the steps of Meriwether Lewis. According to the journals of the Corps of Discovery, Meriwether Lewis often got off the keelboat as they pulled upriver and walked the banks to make his scientific observations and collect specimens of flora and fauna. Currently the North Trailhead of the Steamboat Trace Trail is approx. 5 miles South and East of the Center.

Additional Steamboat Trace Trail information is available from the Nemaha Natural Resources District web site.

Outdoor Education

The 76 acres surrounding the Center is used for further interpretation and education about the Corps of Discovery’s incredible journey. Native prairie grasses and wildflowers greet visitors. Brave explorers can touch prickly pear cactus like the explorers had to walk on barefooted as they portaged their canoes. An American Indian garden is planted each year and experience the seasonal changes of many of the trees native to the Nebraska City area which were noted in Lewis & Clark’s journals including cottonwood, red bud, willow, Osage Orange (aka ‘hedge apple’), black walnut, tree of heaven, burr oak and many others.

Lewis and Clark Facility