Bikepacking the Cowboy Trail
About This Trip
I rode the Cowboy Trail from Valentine, Neb. to Norfolk, Neb. in late September. This was one of the best bike trips I've been on, the towns and people here in Nebraska are so welcoming! I arrived in Valentine late in the evening and stayed at the city park, they have campsites available and a nice stream that runs through so you can fall asleep to the sound of running water. First day of riding we started out, riding Eastward towards Long Pine, our first overnight town. It was perfect weather for riding, cloud cover, no wind, and a cool 60 degrees. There were some cool places to stop like the El-Bow-Room bar in Johnstown and the Sandhills Lounge in Longpine. Beware of goat-heads!!! Bring at least 3 spare tubes or better yet, run tubeless. These little devils will be the bane of your existence, believe me. We arrived at Long Pine State Rec Area which had beautiful campgrounds right along the crystal clear Long Pine Creek. After some hearty campfire food and stories we hung our caps for the night. In the morning some of us checked out the trails in the SRA, they have a great little hike to wake your legs up. Too soon it seemed we were back on two wheels again heading to the next overnight Inman, Neb. A cool place to check out is the Newport Pool Hall in Newport, Neb. It's a donation based, unmanned, always open pool hall. They even have have snacks, just leave a couple bucks to keep this great thing going. We made it to the small town of Inman, Neb. and set up our tents in the park which was FREE! We had a few drinks at the only bar in town and chatted with some of the locals. The last day was WINDY. We rode from Inman to Norfolk, Neb. and had a headwind the entire day. There are a couple bridges out near Clearwater, Neb. and Oakdale, Neb. The Cowboy Trail is a diamond in the rough, it really is a great experience and I'd highly recommend going if you get a chance.