Hiking the MoPac Trail across the Platte River | Louisville, NE | August 2022
We knew going into August that our time in Nebraska was likely coming to a close, but it still didn’t feel real since we didn’t have any firm plans in place for our next move. However, we know from all our previous experiences moving how quickly time would pass once plans were made, so we made a goal to get out and make the most of our time left here, despite the warmer days. We revisited some of our favorite places, but there were still a few items on our Omaha bucket list that we had yet to do.
The MoPac Trail is a long distance trail in progress that someday (hopefully) will connect Omaha to Lincoln — currently there is about an 8 mile stretch that is still incomplete. If we had more time here (and not during the hottest months of the year) this would have made for a fun goal following our completion of the Wabash Trace Trail. But since time isn’t on our side, we decided to go walk a short section that isn’t too far from home. It’s also probably the most interesting section since it goes across the Platte River.
We actually had previously attempted to walk the bridge, but because of the floods of 2019, the bridge was closed on structural concerns until recently.
We drove over on a Sunday evening, parked in a small lot off of NE-31, and began walking the trail towards the bridge. The bridge is .4 miles long with benches scattered along the way so you can sit and take in the view with signs sharing history, facts about the area, and how the bridge was built. It was an excellent spot to watch a quiet sunset — well, quiet aside from a train and the occasional airboats speeding on the shallow water! To the East we could also see the tower in Platte River State Park. It was the perfect way to spend an evening together before Curtis had to leave for a few days for an out of town interview.
If you’re interested, here is a trail recording for the section that we hiked.