Explore Nebraska's Niobrara River Valley
Middle Loup River
About 80 miles south of Valentine, the Nebraska National Forest's tree-shaded Bessey Recreation Area edges the meandering Middle Loup River, popular with floaters in canoes, inner tubes and (no kidding!) big round galvanized-metal stock tanks. Spend some time strolling the woods of the country's only hand-planted national forest (308/533-2257; forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/nebcmp.htm).