Canoe 2 Hour | Berry to Brewer
This canoe trip begins at Berry Bridge and ends approximately two hours later at Brewer Bridge. Near halfway, you will arrive at Smith Falls where people pull over to the right side of the river and walk up to view the tallest falls in the State of Nebraska.
Two-hour trip (approx) or 9 river miles.
Launching from Berry Bridge (13 road miles east of Valentine and ending 25 road miles east). Landing at Brewer Bridge.
Includes Smith Falls which is near half of the nine-mile stretch of river.
Shuttle time departs Brewer Bridge at the time selected from the shuttle options once you start a reservation. This is where you can figure start times. It takes thirty minutes to drive to Brewer Bridge from Valentine so allow 45 minutes to reach the location, unload your items and ready yourself to embark on the shuttle. Once the shuttle leaves to take you to your launch site it will take thirty minutes to an hour before you are on the water. So, if you choose 9:30 for a shuttle time then you should be on the water no later than 10:30.
Once you arrive at the Brewer Bridge you will be responsible for getting yourself, the canoe and equipment out of the water. The equipment needs to be removed from the main landing and placed out of the way for others to safely exit the river.
Check-In / 433 E Hwy 20 in Valentine
- Required at the main office in Valentine. Either the day/night before or the morning of your trip unless other arrangements have already been made.
- Sign waivers
Drive to Brewer Bridge / Morning Bus Shuttle
- Allow yourself enough travel time from Valentine to your bus shuttle pick up. It will take anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes to arrive at the bus stop. Arrive early so you can get your cooler and other items unloaded and ready to board the bus.
Launch from Berry Bridge
- There are no time restraints other than by the end of the day so if you choose to take longer than two hours you have the option to do so.
Fequently asked questions:
When is the best time to float the Niobrara?
Canoe/Kayak - Peak conditions early Spring/Summer. Peak Season.
Tube - Pre Season, 70 degrees and above until Memorial Day weekend. Peak season, Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.
How deep is the water?
The average depth during normal conditions is approximately 1.5 feet. There are areas that can be over your head. These areas are usually identified by cliff walls and the surface of the water. The smoother the surface the deeper the water. The choppier the water, the shallower and generally rockier.
Do you have to know how to paddle?
Basic strokes are necessarry to paddle a canoe or kayak but the Niobrara River is a perfect place to learn. If you have no previous knowledge of paddling then it does not take long to introduce you to the basic strokes and get you on the water.
Can three people ride in a canoe?
Three adults are not allowed in the two person canoe due to the weight capacity and depth of the Niobrara. However children under eight years of age can ride in the middle of the canoe with two adults.
Do kayaks have a skirting?
No, our kayaks are reccreational without skirting.
How old does a child have to be to kayak solo?
Generally eight year olds and above are physically capable.
How often do trips run?
Varies depending on the day. Please refer to the Calendar for more detailed information.
Is there an age restriction?
We do not have an age restriction however if the child or infant is under thirty pounds then you are required to supply your own life jacket to insure proper fit.
Is alcohol allowed?
No Alcohol - Ft Niobrara to Berry Bridge.
Yes Alcohol - Berry Bridge to Last Chance.
Should I bring a towel?
Some people prefer to bring towels on tubes. They will not stay dry unless they are in a dry bag or dry cooler. Keep in mind if you do use them on your tube they will be full of sand at the end of your trip.
Are there restrooms along the way?
There are facilities at most major access areas. These can be found on public and private grounds so keep in mind that you may be accessing private property.
Do you supply the cooler?
You are required to bring your own cooler for your trip. Tubers should bring a hard sided, chest size (48 quart) cooler. Kayakers should bring nothing larger than a 12 pak cooler and preferably soft sided. Canoers can bring either of the obove mentioned.
Won't the cooler fall through the hole of the cooler tube?
Not unless the cooler is to small or soft sided and collapses as you reduce its contents.
How long are the trips?
Trips can be as short as two hours or as long as seven hours. The length is determined by the equipment you decide to use and your take out. Tubes will take twice as long as a canoe or kayak to float the same stretch of river. Available trips can be found on the Calendar.
What if the weather is bad?
Depending on conditions the launch time may be delayed.
What to Bring
Water Shoes (flip flops are not reccomended)
Cooler (48 qt for cooler tubes)
not a necessity but nice to have
Long sleeve shirt (to prevent severe sunburn)
Berry Bridge Campground and Penbrook Campground - 402-376-3474 (May 20th - Labor Day Sunday) Off Season - 402-376-2503
Valentine City Park
Fishberry RV Campground
Wacky West RV Park
Niobrara Lodge - 402-376-3000
Comfort Inn - 402-376-3300
(Econo Lodge) now Harmony Inn - 402-376-3131
Motel Raine - 402-376-2030
Super 8 - 402-376-1250
Trade Winds Motel - 402-376-1600