It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of our fast-paced lives, but sometimes you just need to take a break, disconnect a little, and get back to your roots. Next time you’re feeling stressed and need a little break, check out one of these 11 relaxing spots in nature.
1. Lake McConaughy
Nebraska's largest lake features more than 100 miles of sandy shoreline. The man-made lake is surrounded by some serious natural beauty, and there's nothing quite like a sunset over this water.
2. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
This monument is known as the site of some pretty major fossil finds. Today, there are displays of fossils as well as Native American artifacts. But even if you aren't interested in history, the landscape is simply lovely.
3. The Nebraska Sandhills
This ecologically unique area is unlike any other place in Nebraska. Take the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway (Hwy 2) for a truly beautiful ride through the area.
4. Niobrara National Scenic River, north-central Nebraska
Everyone knows that the Niobrara is the place to be for tubing, tanking, and other river fun, but it also happens to be exceptionally beautiful. How can you not be impressed by that view?!
5. Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge
This gorgeous sight can be found in the breathtaking Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Valentine.
6. Smith Falls State Park
While you're enjoying the Niobrara, stop by this pristine park to view Nebraska's tallest waterfall. It's a hike in/hike out or boat in/boat out park with some of the best hiking in the state.
7. Chadron State Park
Chadron State Park is a place you really have to see if you haven't already. It's a beautiful natural spot with a wide variety of trails for hiking and biking.
8. Halsey National Forest
This pine forest in the middle of the sandhills is such a unique place to spend a day (or more) exploring on foot or on ATVs.
9. E.T. Mahoney Trails
Eugene T. Mahoney Trails is a 1.6 mile loop trail located near Ashland, Nebraska that features a river. The trail is a great place to go to relax in nature at any time of the year.
10. Fort Robinson State Park
Activities include trail rides, historic tours, cookouts, swimming, trout fishing, crafts, hiking, jeep and stagecoach rides, viewing pasture for bison herd, purebred Texas longhorn herds and more. The park grounds are open year-round for day use, hiking and camping, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and hunting in season.
11. Snake River Falls
Looking like a fun place to spend a hot summer afternoon, Snake River Falls is a popular fishing and recreation spot about 20 miles south of Valentine. It's the largest waterfall by volume in the entire state of Nebraska.