Valentine Nebraska Valentine Nebraska Valentine Nebraska Valentine Nebraska. Check out details about Valentine Nebraska, a friendly small town in the sandhills with plenty of fun found at the Niobrara National Scenic River. Valentine Nebraska, the Heart City, proves there’s more to the state than corn and Omaha. Nestled among the sandhills, Valentine lies along the Niobrara National Scenic River right near the South Dakota state line. It’s also the gateway to recreation, offering easy access to the McKelvie National Forest, two wildlife refuges and other wide-open places to enjoy nature. Plus, you’ll find everything you need to put together a full vacation, including places to stay and places to eat.

Outdoor Recreation

Valentine, Nebraska
Valentine, Nebraska

When looking for places to spend time outdoors, you have a lot of choices in and around Valentine Nebraska. Both the Valentine and the Niobrara national wildlife refuges draw birds and bird watchers with plenty of things to do. The river is popular with canoeists and tubers, and both refuges have plenty of hiking trails. With a trip to Smith Falls State Park alongside the river, you’ll have the chance to see one of the most scenic vistas in Nebraska — a tumbling waterfall surrounded by bubbling springs, ponderosa pine, and aspen trees.

McKelvie National Forest

Ponderosa pines stretch on for acres and acres the Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest, 116,079 acres to be exact. Named for a former Nebraska governor, this protected area also is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and campers. Steer Creek, the 2,200-acre campground, is a quiet place nestled in the pine trees. This campground is open year-round and can accommodate tents and RVs. Adjacent to the national forest, the Merritt Reservoir is one of the region’s favorite fishing sites.

Hotels & Lodging

Hotels & Lodging
Hotels & Lodging

No matter what you pack into the day, you can return to Valentine for an overnight stay. The range of accommodations is diverse, including riverside campsites, cabins, and ranches. If more standard hotel rooms are your style, you’ll also be in luck. The Heart City has seven different hotels. The Quality Inn is located right next to the Rosebud Casino, one of Valentine’s favorite attractions.

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