Seward, Nebraska | Hiking around Pawnee State Recreation Area | November 2020
On yet another beautiful fall weekend, we drove West for another Saturday adventure. Today’s goal was to check off another courthouse, and go for a longer hike. Perhaps all these weekend adventures are starting to sound repetitive, but they are nonetheless enjoyable to us.
We especially like that Charlotte has been able to go everywhere with us. In Hawaii, we found the weather too hot for her or the trails not as dog-friendly, so she spent most weekends at home. She may have less lizards to chase here, but besides that her life has become much more exciting.
Anyway, I digress; our first stop for today was in Seward, Nebraska. Seward is a town just North of I-80 along US-34 and is known officially (the State Government ordained it) as ‘Nebraska’s 4th of July City’ owing to its large celebrations since after the Civil War.
More importantly, for us, it’s the county seat and county courthouse for Seward County. We enjoyed walking around the courthouse and seeing the monuments. Seward (County) was named for Lincoln and Johnson’s Secretary of State, who, among other things coordinated arguably the second best land deal in history with the purchase of Alaska. Naturally, this makes Seward, Alaska Seward, Nebraska’s sister city.
From Seward we headed back East along US-34 to Pawnee State Recreation Area. We started near the dam on the South side of the Lake and proceeded around clockwise. Unlike previous hikes around lakes, Pawnee Lake does not have a complete foot path around the lake. Fortunately we were able to piece together some road walks to make it work. Along the South side of the lake we passed in and out of some old farm fields and saw several deer walking around.
The North side of the lake was more established foot paths through prairie and forest. We eventually came out near the campground to see more intrepid people than us camping this late in the season. We also ran into a pair on horseback, much to Charlotte’s fearful curiosity.
The cooler weather was perfect for our walk, yet we hardly saw any other people on the trail — just like the past few weekends. Could this mean that late fall is becoming our favorite time of year to hike here? Time will tell! Altogether, the loop was just over 7.5 miles long, and took us about 2 1/2 hours to complete. If you’re interested, you can check out our trail recording here.