How would your pup like a peaceful walk through the countryside? If this sounds appealing to them, grab the leash and head over to the Oak Creek Trail. What was once an old rail corridor for the Union Pacific Railroad is now a delightful trail that stretches between Brainard and Valparaiso.
From the southern trailhead in Valparaiso, the trail wanders through rural Nebraska and runs alongside the Bates Branch of Oak Creek. As your pooch trots along the trail, they’ll see pastures, wide open prairies, and shady oak woodlands. Since it’s very beautiful, you’d expect this trail to be extremely pupular. But it is rarely, if ever, crowded. Your furry friend can enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature while sauntering along.
Almost halfway up the trail, you will enter a small town called Loma. Before leaving the tiny community, be sure to check out St. Luke's Czech Catholic Shrine. Built by Czech immigrants in 1911, this picturesque chapel is just a short detour off the trail. After you leave Loma, the trail passes through more natural prairie before making its way up a scenic ridge and down into Brainard.
Keep in mind the trail has a slight incline when hiked
south to north. If your canine buddy wants to walk the entire trail, be sure to
arrange for a pick up and drop off, or park a shuttle at the opposite end of
your starting point. Restrooms are available in Loma and Valparaiso, and water
can be found at both trailheads. Be sure to fill up your water bottles before
venturing down the trail; your pooch will definitely need a couple water
breaks. Also, do your part to keep the trail smelling fresh by carrying some
clean up bags and picking up after your pooch. Above all else, enjoy walking
through the furrific scenery with your pal by your side!