Nebraska has a wide range of scenic attractions. Its recreational assets are its numerous reservoirs, lakes, and rivers, including the Republican River and the Platte River system. All parts of the state offer hunting and fishing as well as opportunities to observe wildlife.
Although Nebraska has no national parks, there are historic sites and monuments, two national forests, a national grassland, and five wildlife refuges administered by the federal government. Chimney Rock is a national historic site. This rock formation, near Bayard, is a lofty spire and was a prominent landmark for those who traveled the Oregon Trail.
Another symbol of the trail is Scotts Bluff National Monument, near Gering. The wheel ruts of wagon trains that passed through this area may still be seen. Mitchell Pass, providing access through the bluff, was the route used by wagons and stagecoaches after 1852 and by the Pony Express. Homestead National Monument of America, near Beatrice, is the site of the first land claimed under the Homestead Act of 1862. Another national park unit is Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, in Sioux County. This area, along the Niobrara River, is rich in fossils of prehistoric animals and has been studied by the Carnegie Museum and the University of Nebraska since the early 1900s. Fort McPherson, south of Maxwell, is the smallest national cemetery in the nation.
Some of the state’s most impressive scenery is in the Nebraska and Samuel R. McKelvie national forests. The section of Nebraska National Forest in Thomas and Blaine counties was entirely hand-planted. Oglala National Grassland is located in Dawes and Sioux counties. Lakes in eastern Cherry County and in central Garden County are national wildlife refuges. "Nebraska" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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