From the wooded Missouri River of eastern Nebraska to the windswept prairies and plains of south-central Nebraska, this 238-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 136 between Edison and Brownville cuts across the land memorialized by Willa Cather.
Winding rivers, pristine lakes, natural prairies, fertile farmland, and historic settlements.
Harlan County Lake is one of Nebraska’s largest reservoirs and offers great opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping, and boating on 31,000 acres of water and land. Learn all about Willa Cather, Nebraska native and author of O Pioneers and My Antonia, at the Red Cloud Opera House. Enjoy a delicious glass of wine on the patio overlooking a stunning view of the vineyards at Superior Estates Winery in Superior. Hebron is home to a unique attraction, the World’s Largest Porch Swing. It makes for a great photo opportunity.
Near Fairbury, explore Rock Creek Station State Historical Park, one of the best places to see Oregon Trail wagon ruts. Part of the station’s historical significance includes being the place where Wild Bill Hickok gained notoriety for killing his first victims. While you’re in Fairbury, spend some time browsing works of art created by Nebraska artists at the New Earth Clay Pottery and Art Gallery.
Learn about the turning point that settled the Wild West at Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice. The Homestead Heritage Center uses state-of-the-art, interactive displays and exhibits to bring America’s homesteading story and the importance of the Homestead Act of 1862 to life. Explore how the Nemaha Valley was settled at the Nemaha Valley Museum in Auburn.
In Brownville, spend a relaxing afternoon cruising down the Missouri River on the Spirit of Brownville Riverboat, take in a play or concert at the Brownville Village Theatre and Brownville Concert Hall, shop in the quaint downtown area, or sip wine at sunset on the deck of Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery. Spend a relaxing overnight stay on the banks of the Missouri River at the River Inn Resort, a floating inn and boutique.
Start in Edison
28 miles east on US-136 to Alma (Harlan County Reservoir)
46 miles east on US-136 to Red Cloud
25 miles east on US-136, south on NE-14 to Superior
36 miles north on NE-14, east on US-136 to Hebron
24 miles east on US-136 to Fairbury
30 miles east on US-136 to Beatrice
52 miles east on US-136 to Auburn
57 miles east on US-136 to Brownville