The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Nebraska

Toadstool Loop
Oglala National Grasslands • Crawford

Seaman may come to these national grasslands expecting to hike through amber waves of grain but the attraction here is the “Little Badlands” of the Nebraska panhandle. America’s badlands received their ominous moniker when early settlers found it impossible to safely roll a wagon through the cracked lunar landscape in the UpperMidwest. Our most famous badlandsare preserved in Dakota national parks - and off limits to canine hikers.

At Toadstool Geologic Park Seaman will be trotting across stark, eroded rock formations where the tag team of water and wind have been at work for millions of years. The “toadstools” form when underlying soft claystone erodes faster than the hard sandstone that caps it. Your curious dog can also explore off the path for close- up looks in the gullies at fossil bone fragments that lace the rocks and 30-million year-old footprints preserved in the stone. A mile-long interpretive loop tells the tale.

For extended hikes with Seaman, Toadstool Park connects to the world-renowned Hudson-Meng Bison Bone- yard via a three-mile trail. This archeological site seeks to unravel the mystery of how over 600 bison died nearly 10,000 years ago in an area about the size of a football stadium. Human predation is the leading suspect. As you near the prehistoric kill bed Seaman will experience the head-high grasses on the trail he was looking for from the Oglala Grasslands.

HIKING TIME: 1-3 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Scotts Bluff National Monument
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park


State Parks With Hiking


Nebraska State Parks
Dogs are permitted in Nebraska state parks but they may not be left unattended and are not permitted in lodges, eating establishments, some cabins or on designated swimming beaches.

Alexandria State Recreational Area
Arbor Lodge Historical Park
Ash Hollow State Historical Park
Ashfall State Historical Park  
Branched Oak State Recreational Area
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreational Area  
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historic Park  
Chadron State Park  
Champion Mill State Historic Park
Conestoga State Recreational Area
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Fort Atkinson State Historic Park
Fort Kearny State Historic Park
Fort Kearny State Recreational Area
Fort Robinson State Park  
Indian Cave State Park
Lake Ogallala State Recreational Area  
Lewis and Clark State Recreational Area
Long Pine State Recreational Area  
Memphis State Recreational Area
Merrit Reservoir State Recreational Area  
Niobrara State Park  
Pawnee State Recreational Area  
Platte River State Park
Ponca State Park
Rock Creek Station State Recreational Area
Rock Creek Station State Park
Rockford State Recreational Area  
Schramm Park State Recreational Area  
Smith Falls State Park  
Summit Lake State Recreational Area
Two Rivers State Recreational Area  
Wagon Train State Recreational Area
Wildcat Hills State Recreational Area
Willow Creek State Recreational Area 


Hiking With Your Dog in Nebraska