With 3,052 rugged acres bordering the mighty Missouri River, Indian Cave is a pristine area, devoted to camping, hiking and backpacking, picnicking, nature and wilderness activities. Located 10 miles south of Brownville and 5 miles east on S 64E, Indian Cave boasts a variety of hardwood trees, shrubs and other flora. There are 22 miles of hiking trails in the park.
Ok, here's how my hike went today. I'll start off by saying I always feel that it is a blessing to have the opportunity and the ability to be able to enjoy nature at any given day and location. I'm giving this trail a 3 because I have been on some actual 5 star trails in various parts of America. As for the area, I couldn't have expected anything better! I really enjoyed the steep inclines to the top ridge line of the hilltops. I personally love to get my heart pumping and feeling the burn in my legs, though. Along the trail at the top of the hills are some trail shelters with pretty nice views that can be enjoyed however long you feel the need. I will mention that there are a few drawbacks to the trails here. They are not very well maintained so be prepared to navigate past filled trees, washouts, and tons of overgrown plants. It wasn't a huge bother to me, honestly, but I could see where others may complain. My main warning to anybody hiking out here is to be extra cautious protecting yourself from bugs. I am an avid hiker and I figured I went a little overkill on the bug spray, but that most definitely was not the case. Within the first 5 minutes of my hike I developed my own miniature ecosystem of bugs. No exaggeration when I say I had a thin fog of mosquitoes and other insects hovering around me the entire time. But once again, I enjoyed my outing! Hopefully this review will give you a good idea of what to be prepared for if you decide to hike these Indian Cave State Park trails!
We camped on one of the loops and hiked during the day with our dogs. What you'll find here is a nice little park with a good variety of backpacking, RV or tent spots.
What you won't find here is anything as it is depicted on the park map. It is more "Picasso" and less "accurate." We drove a lap around the park to actually find the correct trailheads.
Trail 2 (history trail) is a good little loop with an outlook and a stop by the 100% racist "Halfbreed Cemetery." If you've got kids they'll probably dog the old timey candle maker and soap maker people. As we are complete assholes, that didn't interest us at all. The outlook is beautiful.
Trail 11 (nature trail?) is a legit death trap. It's a short, steep loop with a lot of fallen logs up to a decent view. It was a bit muddy, full of loose roots and we had our pups, so this is the only trail ever where the hike up is more fun than the hike down. Have fun spraining your ankle or, if you're graceful like moi, doing a fall/slide combo into a tree while your 15 lbs dog watches you like you're a fool. Glad I finished it, though.
I'd like to go back and do the high trails (7 and 3, I think?) and stay in a spot with a view.
Diana L. on Indian Cave Trail
It is so gorgeous nature mother for green!!! And interesting historic of Indian cave and oldest cemetery
I took the number 11 trail way down by the cave. The trail was a little more than a muddy deer trail. It was steep and it was raining when I hiked so it was extremely slick. The "scenic view" at the top was bushed in and nothing special. Not worth your time. Try a different trail!
I did a solo overnighter here over spring break, and had a wonderful time. I started at Trailhead 4, hiked a few miles to one of the Adirondack shelters, spent the night, and then the next morning, hiked the Lincoln Bend Wetland Trail and North Ridge Trail. It might have been even more enjoyable just a little bit later in the season, when more of the park is coming back to life, but that's a small thing really. The only other thing to say is that there are some trails that aren't marked on the map, and that can throw you off, but the park's small enough its no big deal. Overall, fantastic place, and I look forward to hiking it again.
A lot of hills and SPIDERS! Can't tell you how many times I walked into a spider web during the summer. Bring a walking stick or pick one up from the ground. I'm in decent shape and it was pretty hard for me. Bring bug repellent it will help a lot.Watch where you step because I twisted my ankle and buckled my knee. If you are hiking to the cave, trail head 11 is a steep way down be careful there are lots of rocks on the ground and it is slick (that's where i twisted my ankle and buckled my knee). But none of the less it was a beautiful hike.
I've been hiking/backpacking this area for more than twenty years. Outstanding views of the Missouri River and the bluffs on its western edge. Great fall foliage in mid-late October. There are a variety of trails available at Indian Cave State Park and the trail along the river bluffs is only one of many; plenty of choices winding through this hilly, forested area of SE Nebraska. It's unfortunate that the State opened up some of these trails to horses; the Loess soil doesn't hold up well to the weight of horses and has left deep gouges in some areas.
Gayle S. on Indian Cave Trail
First time here. Enjoyed the hike but others are correct in that trails are poorly marked in most places and don't always match the map. It has been rainy but most of the trails are passable, over grown and have some downed trees. Many marked for no horse traffic still have had horses on them.
We went on a horseback riding vacation at Indian Cave State Park, it was our first visit to the park. The equestrian area was well groomed but not many level areas to park or to set up a camper or trailer. The only water source is a water wagon for the horses but the park personnel make sure it is full and the water is clean and fresh. There is a nice covered shelter area with picnic tables by the corrals and picnic tables, fire pits and tie posts around the area. The 12 pen corrals look nice but we were disappointed to see how muddy they were and even if the ground was dry how rough it was in the corrals. There is no drainage for these corrals and they were ankle deep in mud, we had to set up our own electric fence corrals on the grass for the four days we were there. A suggestion would be to thoroughly clean out those corrals and fill with sand.
The trails are wide, nice and for the most part well maintained. They were beautiful tree covered, fun trails, some easy trails quickly turned steep and challenging, they are also very slippery when wet! Want to be sure your horse is in shape for these trails! Be sure and get a park map marked for horse trails, not all trails are open for horses and can be misleading and you can’t ride to the historical sites. Trail heads are marked well but interior trails are not ,very confusing. The entrance into the equestrian area is narrow, it was a tight fit for our larger rigs. A note, the weekend we were there a black powder shoot was going on right next to the horse camp, very loud! All in all we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the trails and had a great time riding the park!
We've been to this park twice and enjoy the trails. The park is far enough away from main roads that hiking here is very peaceful with no traffic noise. The trails are decent, although they do need to trim in some places and remove fallen trees others. We enjoy a little adventure and don't mind climbing over or ducking under trees, so if this doesn't bother you, you should enjoy the trails here. One thing to note is that the trails are very poorly marked and the park map doesn't quite match the trails.
Went out to Indian Cave Park July 16th this year 2014. It was my first time there. I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more than one cave. I did enjoy the trials and driving through the park. There was some repair and/or renovation happening on the road to the cave. I did climb trail head #11; which goes up behind the cave, because I wanted to get to the over look at the top. That trail was wash mostly away and all the plants had grown up over the trail. It was tough for me (a newbie to hiking) and I was not very prepared but I made it and found my way back down. I would go again. I've heard it very prettying in the fall.
I have been to the park twice now, once in the spring and another in the fall. There were plenty of trails to choose from and if planned correctly you can spend all day with minimal exposure to pavement. There are both camp sites and shelters setup along certain segments of the trails which make this one of the most pleasurable backpacking sites in Nebraska.
My only advise is to plan your walking around the water well as plumbing is located only in one area of the park.