Kayaking Nebraska's Rivers

Lisa Karnatz



  • Kayaking

  • Bird Watching

  • Wildlife

  • Nature

  • Fishing

  • Camping

  • Lakes and Rivers

  • Canoeing


his is kayaking on Nebraska's rivers through my eyes.

Whether it's a warm sun-shiny kind of day or a fall day when linear rays of sunshine radiate down on my brown-toned summer skin, it's always a good day to go kayaking. Prep time means sounds of my yellow and white kayak being hoisted and latched on top of my SUV and the sound of the cooler lid plopping closed as my daughter slips in more soda and snacks. We are heading to put in at the bridge forge with plans to traverse central Nebraska's north channel of the Platte River hoping to arrive at our seven mile destination several hours later.

Once at the forge, our kayaks slide into the cool, fast running clear water as the schools of minnows scatter quickly to make way for our intruding colorful kayaks. Feet are wet, clothes are stripped down, phones and cameras are stowed, coolers are opened, sun screen is spread. It's time to relax back with both feet up and float the afternoon away.

Platte means 'flat', so not paying attention to where you are floating might mean you may need to use your paddles to push your kayak back into the main river channel to continue down the river. The Platte, also called the 'braided river', means the channels in the river cross paths and meander back and forth creating a braided look while also providing options of where to float.

A kayaker may see a bald eagle perched on a branch keeping an eye out for passer byers. Whitetail deer stop and take a look to determine who is floating in their direction before quickly scampering up the river bank, only to hesitate briefly for a second look before disappearing into the foliage.

River kayaking means traversing around fallen trees that sometimes create horizontal wooden bridges that invite bare feet to trod. Sand bars become pit stops abundant with animal tracks, rocks and pieces of water-distressed wood. Sand angels are common occurrences and sand is shifted between bare toes while refreshments and snacks are shared.

To kayak a Nebraska river means experiencing an adventure like none other. Summer sunsets provide masterpieces to view. Cottonwood trees seranade music from unseen breezes. Groups of friends provide silliness compared to a solo float which can be a perfectly, lovely peaceful time. I thoroughly love and enjoy each kayak trip as it provides its own beautiful memory on a Nebraska river.

My name is Lisa and this is kayaking Nebraska's rivers through my eyes.

Included in this Story...

Bridge panorama1
Bridge panorama1
Kearney, NE
Kearney, NE
Kearney, NE

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