Platte River State Park Trails

MODERATE 138 reviews
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Platte River State Park Trails is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Louisville, Nebraska that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 711 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


bird watching




wild flowers

The park is blazing multiple new trails on east side of park. Spent much of my hike exploring. Saw a large number of deer, turkey, and squirrels while hiking. Ran across the largest coyote I’ve ever seen.

I just wish these trails connected together better for a long hike. Nice scenery enjoyable hiking.

4 months ago

Trail was pretty wet in spots especially in the Eastern part of the park on the 'very difficult' bike trails. Wouldn't be suitable to ride but just fine hiking. They're building a pretty significant boardwalk system at the far eastern edge of the park. Seems to be a really big infrastructure project for an area that get little usage so that probably means they have other infrastructure planned to draw people over there other than just the bikers and hikers that use that part of the park. It's nice that others can enjoy it, I guess, but my selfish side wishes it would stay remote and seldom used. I didn't see another person after passing the observation tower. Even in the middle of the peak season I seldom see anybody east of Owen Crossing. Wouldn't bother me if it stayed that way.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

I didn’t exactly follow this map, but I really enjoy this park. Not too difficult but you can get a lot of miles! We wandered into the section of the park that I think is mostly used by bikers. Really beautiful in that section but we did end up getting lost because there are a lot of forks and no signs.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Nice trail. Practiced hiked with a 33 lb pack. It’s a bit more difficult the further east you go. The description says it’s a 5.1 mile loop. I’m not sure what loop they are talking about, but it’s a lot more that 5.1 miles. Hiked from car lot and went 2 miles east to all the switchbacks, then returned, totaling 4.1 miles. No way the ‘red’ path is 5.1 miles... lol.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Very much enjoyed hiking here. The little waterfalls are beautiful and easy to find. There’s a cool scenic overlook as well. I thought the hike was easy, but I stayed on the west side of the park and didn’t go over to the east side. However, planning on returning as there’s supposed to be another scenic overlook on that side of the park. It wasn’t clear on the map how to get over there, but they were able to explain how in the office. Overall enjoyable and scenic hike, seems like it’d be a good place for kids, too! Not too busy if you go on a weekday.

Monday, May 28, 2018

These trails were partially formed when Platte River State Park was Camp Harriet Harding for 80 yrs before 1980 when the state joined two parks to make this state park. I camped here in the 1970's and ran the trails for hours on end. These trails are the essence of Nebraska. A true riparian forest, caught between the river and the prairie. Fun trails to hike along. Nice little side trails to explore. Sometimes you will see turkeys in the trees, deer, rabbits, coons, lots of insects.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Not always marked well but lots of wildlife.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Good views, not very busy, and we saw lots of deer!

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Went hiking during the winter season. It was a nice trail but it wasn’t marked very well. So kinda made my own path and was cool to see the water frozen and able to walk out to the Platte River. Phone turned off due to the cold so I couldn’t record my whole hike. The observation tower was great to go on but it was, obviously, very cold and windy.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

My family and I hiked there and smelled so fresh Mother Nature on muddy trail for 2.5 miles so nice color falls!

Friday, September 22, 2017

I did what I consider the main loop. This starts from the trailhead near the waterfall, goes North, then East at the northern terminus of this trail. Proceed East to Owen Crossing, East some more to what I consider the main and best biking trails in the park. Those biking trails loop all over the place and ultimately come back to the east/west trail leading back to Owen Crossing. Travel west the way you came in back to the north terminus of the waterfall trail. Keep traveling west. Take any northern (right) trail that continues to move west and keeps the Platte River to your right and (mostly) in sight. Travel west until you run out of trail and are forced to turn South (left). Travel South until you get to the area that they are using as a temporary dump for the construction they are doing. Keep going south until the treeline then turn East (left). The rest of the trail is cake and follows the road back to where you parked. This loop is 6.26 miles. Lots of up and down. I would rate this as moderate, only because of the up and down nature of the trail, the oppressive Eastern Nebraska humidity, and the terrible marking and signage of this trail. I'm a local and grew up nearby. I've hiked all over here long before these areas were State Parks so I'm intimately familiar with the area. They could get a lot more usage of the trails if they would take the time to properly map them and place markers at the appropriate places so people that are just casual users of the park could not feel intimidated and fear getting lost. There are numerous branching trails off what is already a vague trail (because of a lack of signage). The trails themselves are well established. It's just without clear markers and an accurate map of the area it probably keeps people from exploring more. I'm sure there are lots of city dwellers that come here that feel apprehensive about getting too far back in there because of the fear of getting lost, which would be easy to do if you're directionally challenged and aren't familiar with the area.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

it's a great venue to run jog and hike. vigorous hiking workout.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

We decided to do the big loop. Although no trails were marked and they were manny random trails not even listed on the map we were given. Got lost a few time. Some parts of the trail were completely covered in nettle and hurt to pass. Other parts were so overgrown that we didn't think it was part of the trail (which it ended up being that it was part of the trail) it seems that the only area that is taken care of is the thick trail leading up to the falls.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The trail was nice, however the first section from the trailhead to the falls was covered in screaming children, totally scaring off all the wildlife and annoying all the people there to actually enjoy nature.

Friday, July 21, 2017

It was alright. Pretty hot and buggy so sunscreen and bug spray are a good idea. Their weren't that many wide trails and they weren't marked well, the map was helpful but again, weren't marked very well either.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Very beautiful place to go hiking and enjoy nature

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Going back soon!

Friday, December 30, 2016

This isn't the most exciting hike but you can get some pretty views. The waterfall is awesome, though. I went on a hot early September day so it was very buggy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Beautiful park, great trail...pretty (little) waterfall, lots of bridges, and great views of the Platte River.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

This was a solid trail to what I am told is Nebraska's biggest waterfall. It starts near some developed camp grounds to the left of the main park entrance and parking is $5, which can be purchased at the visitors center (to the right of the main entrance). The trail wove through the forest, over several bridges, and went past a teepee. From there there were a number of different splits you could take, which mostly wasn't labeled. The bridges had signs which helped, but I found myself needing to back track at several points. Bring bug spray. This wasn't the worst for mosquitos that I did but bug spray will definitely make your time more enjoyable. I did this hike in September and saw only one other family. I was able to see some beautiful butterflies on this trail as well.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

went for an hour before dark. nice trails and cant wait to go back for more

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Small but beautiful, the falls are gorgeous. Moderately busy, but still worth it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

By far my favorite place to hike WITH DOGS in the Omaha area. The dogs loved it! Great waterfall area. Paths aren't congested. Nice options!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Great for the family! Fun little falls for the kids to play in.

Friday, July 08, 2016

This was an amazing hike!! Got to see a deer and some wild turkeys.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

They had a pretty good trail. We had to pay $5 for parking though.

Monday, June 13, 2016

I hike from the waterfalls to Tee Pee village then back to the horse stables returning to the waterfall. After the waterfall I saw 4 other people until I was close to the stables. I shared the path with some horseback riders and refilled my camelback at the stables from the wellhead.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Beautiful area that makes you forget you are in Nebraska. We usually take the waterfall trail. The last time, my 6 year old and I bought water shoes and just took the shallow creek as our path, from the waterfall on. So much fun!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Very cute park! I hiked to the waterfall. It was not so impressive and pretty small but how many waterfalls are you going to see in NE? :) I went in May and the woods looked very jungle like. definitely pretty trails along a creek and with several sturdy bridges.

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