Enjoying Your Visit
Fort Niobrara NWR is a great place to see, appreciate, and learn about wildlife and their habitats. The Refuge offers many opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, but please remember that the needs of wildlife come first. Some of the activities in which you can take part or the places you can visit include the following.
Headquarters and Visitor CenterA visitor center, with informative displays and exhibits, a bookstore, and staff to answer your questions, is open 8:00 am – 4:30 pm daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and Monday through Friday during the rest of the year (except for Federal holidays).
Auto Tour Route, Observation Deck, and Nature TrailA 3.5-mile, self-guided auto tour route starts near the visitor center and provides the opportunity to view bison, elk, prairie dogs, and other natural and historic points of interest. At stop number 13, an accessible observation deck overlooks the scenic Niobrara River corridor. An arduous, ¾-mile nature trail descends from the overlook to the base of Fort Falls, and then continues to the river before circling back up to the top of the canyon.
Fort Niobrara Wilderness Area
The more adventurous visitor can enjoy the Fort Niobrara Wilderness Area on foot or by floating the Niobrara River.Allow 2-4 hours for a float trip through the Refuge.To help offset the costs of providing visitor services, a small fee is charged for each watercraft launching on Fort Niobrara NWR.Private outfitters in the area rent watercraft and provide shuttle services.
Visitors can “experience” refuge management each fall by watching the Bison Roundup and Auction. Special activities for children include Kid’s Fishing Day and the Junior Ranger Program. Please contact the Refuge staff for information on these and other special activities that may be taking place during your visit.