Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge is located in the U.S. state of Nebraska and includes 19,131 acres (77.42 km2). The refuge borders the Niobrara National Scenic River on the west and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From 1879 to 1906, the Fort Niobrara Military Reservation was located on what later became refuge lands to house a garrison of the U.S. Cavalry. After the fort was closed, the effort to preserve the region as a wildlife refuge culminated in the creation of the refuge on January 11, 1912. The refuge also manages Valentine and John and Louise Seier National Wildlife Refuges as parts of the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge Complex.Our Valentine sightseeing planner makes visiting Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and other Valentine attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
The reservation was created by Executive order in 1912:
January 11, 1912. Niobrara Reservation. Embracing parts of townships thirty-three and thirty-four north, ranges twenty-six and twenty-seven west, Sixth Principal Meridian, Nebraska, the same being a part of the abandoned Fort Niobrara Military Reservation. This reservation was enlarged by executive order of November 14, 1912, adding approximately nine hundred acres, which included the building and old parade-grounds of the military reservation.
Fort Niobrara NWR is located along the banks of the Niobrara River in Cherry County. The river has eroded into the limestone, creating cliffs and a varied topography. This unusual alteration to the otherwise relatively featureless great plains presents a unique habitat that fosters numerous plant and animal species. The American Bison Society brought a bison herd to the reservation in 1913 in an effort to repopulate the region with original animal species. Over 230 species of birds have been documented, along with a 350 bison and a small herd of elk (wapiti) that have been restored to the refuge. 4,635 acres (1,876 ha) of the refuge was designated as the Fort Niobrara Wilderness in 1976.
Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge reviews
The visitor center was closed but a brochure and maps of the area was available. Learned some of the history and did see a buffalo while touring the park. The area is quite scenic and worth the...
The visitor center was closed but a brochure and maps of the area was available. Learned some of the history and did see a buffalo while touring the park. The area is quite scenic and worth the... more »
An absolutely beautiful place. If you’re looking for vacation ideas, this NWF as well as the rest of the Valentine area should be on your list. Great hikes here, relatively not busy (especially on the weekdays) and a great change of pace. This area is highly biodiverse and if you’re a nature nerd like me.. this is a MUST visit place as it has world class biodiversity.
What an amazing addition to our tubing trip on the Niobrara. After driving through the refuge on the way to tubing I researched the refuge and realized that we should probably check it all out the next day before we left. Its hard to fathom that where you're at is still in nebraska but it definitely is and it's something every visitor to valentine should check out at least once.
Plan your trip to Valentine
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.Know more
Popular things to do in Valentine
Side trips from Valentine
Hidden gems in Valentine
Nearby attractions in Valentine
Trips in Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge by other users
60 days in Nebraska BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM Lincoln Grand Island Kearney 32 days in Nebraska BY A USER FROM FRANCE Kearney North Platte Gering 39 days in Nebraska BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Omaha Brownville Valentine 11 days in Nebraska BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Valentine Kearney Lincoln 11 days in Nebraska BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Valentine Kearney Lincoln 28 days in United States & Arkansas BY A USER FROM THE NETHERLANDS Oklahoma City Hot Springs Cotter