Smith Falls Trails is a 1.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sparks, Nebraska that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length1.1 miElevation gain49 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyCampingFishingHikingWalkingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildlife
Description
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The south side of the river, where the falls are located, is maintained in a natural state. Hiking is limited to established trails to prevent erosion and protect rare plants. Although there is no vehicle access or camping there, a footbridge across the Niobrara links the falls to the north side of the park. Picnic sites, tent camping, restrooms, concession, and pay showers are available on the north side of the river. CAMPING Smith Falls State Park offers primitive camping that is reservable 1 year in advance. Smith Falls campground straddles the Niobrara National Scenic River. Picnic sites, tent camping, restrooms, concession, and pay showers are available on the north side of the river. No RV facilities are available. The park protects the biological and scenic significance of the location, while allowing the public to view the state's highest waterfall. Accessibility: This packed dirt and wooden boardwalk/bridge trail is estimated to typically be at least 3 feet wide. The slope is estimated to be very steep at the end and range overall from -22% (downhill) to 22% (uphill) grade. The first half mile of the trail is estimated to be mostly gentle to moderately steep reaching 8% grade uphill and down- this is the most accessible portion of the trail. There is a staircase located near the falls with no ramp alternative. There are not ADA-compliant car parking spots at the unpaved trailhead.

SMITH FALLS STATE PARK HC 13, Box 25 Valentine, Nebraska 69201 Phone: 402-376-1306

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Reviews (22)
Photos (54)
Activities (10)
Completed (52)
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Crystal Robinson
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Nature trips

Wonderful hike to do with kids!

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Madison Husmann
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Hiking

Beautiful trail! Very easy hike to do to get to the waterfall.

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Joseph Johanesse
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Hiking

Great falls and area, check out the overlooks and National Wildlife reserve as well, for Buffalo and prairie dog cities.

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Doug Abbott
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Hiking

If you are in the area Smith Falls is an absolute must see. On a road trip through the area? Stretch your legs and spend some time here. In recent years this area has become a destination for those who like lazy river activities and beautiful lush green camping. And for good reason. This is a gem of a find in a very unexpected location. That being said, the waterfall by itself is not something to drive across Nebraska for.

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Julie P
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Easy, accessible, and the tallest waterfall in Nebraska! Good job Game and Parks!

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Julie P
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Hiking

The campground was deserted and the trail had only a few other hikers. Perfect time to visit!

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Brandon Edwards
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Walking

Short, easy walk along the Niobrara River, then a wooden pathway leads back to Smith Falls. 5 stars for how much fun it is to splash around with our kiddo at the base of the falls; highly recommended!

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Doug Neidholdt
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Hiking

Relative to the area, Smith Falls is a must do. Simple boardwalk to the falls. Nice campground, great float river adjacent to the falls.

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Jake Popish
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Scenic driving

Absolute must stop if traveling through north border of Nebraska. We stopped on way to Black Hills/Rushmore area before heading west to Yellowstone. Went as a kid, falls still looked the same, but it was a lonely dirt trail back then only accessible by boat. Great memories, completely commercialized now, but one of Nebraska's coolest areas to see.

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Maddison Parriott
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Hiking

Must see! The waterfall is beautiful.

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Deborah Teller
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Hiking

I was at Smith Falls this spring, May 2015. I thought the hike was easy. I like the wood deck leading to the falls. It provides an easy pathway for those who might not otherwise be able to get back in to the falls. The park and grounds around the area were very nice. I enjoyed the river running through as well.

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Kimberly Freeland
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Walking
First to Review

A must see!!!! Awesome shaded trails, mostly wooden stairs but it takes you directly to a waterfall which you can explore!! They have several other trails, restrooms, cool bridge and a trail that leads you to a lake.

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Vanessa Randall
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Hiking
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Ben Hoese
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Hiking
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Michele LaBreck
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Hiking
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Power By Puppers
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Walking
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Vern Dosch
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Adrien Metcalf
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Walking
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Erin Sayer
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Hiking
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Doug Neidholdt
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Hiking
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Andrew Kaiser
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Adam Delcourt
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