Nebraska rivers feed into greater network




Rivers have a deep connection to American history and a wide impact on our everyday lives. These waterways flow through a vast network of streams and channel water towards the ocean. As river water runs through the countryside, it helps us run our everyday lives. Across the US, people use this water in their homes, on their farms and as part of their leisure activities. Rivers provide animal habitats and contribute to our economy. These natural water features are an essential part of the Nebraska countryside and the nation’s landscape.

Nebraska Rivers

Rivers are the lifeblood of Nebraska. Like veins throughout your body, rivers carry water to every corner of our state. Nebraska has more miles of rivers than any other state in the US. These water sources contribute to Nebraska’s natural landscape and support the state’s economy. Nebraska rivers are rated in Class 1: Easy. This rating means the rivers are generally slow-moving with smooth waters and few obstacles. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy them as a place for boating, fishing and other water activities. Over 20 rivers flow within our boarders, but only a few of them are widely recognized.
The Platte River begins where the North Platte and South Platte Rivers combine. Water from the Platte streams across the state, feeding into the Missouri River. The Missouri River is known as the dividing line along the Nebraska-Iowa boarder. It runs over 2,000 miles before flowing into the Mississippi River. The Niobrara River is known as a popular destination for tubing and tanking. Its calm, scenic waters are a great place to relax and soak up the sun’s rays.

Mississippi River

Flowing all the way from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River is one of the world’s longest river systems. A river system describes a larger group of streams, lakes, and rivers that feed into one large river. The Missouri and Ohio rivers are two rivers that empty into the Mississippi River, making them an important part of the Mississippi River System.  The Mississippi River is the most important commercial waterway in the US, transporting goods and grains around the country.

Colorado River 

The Colorado River is one of the most famous rivers in the US, even though it’s not the longest or the most impressive. This water source provides farms and towns with water for agricultural and municipal use. Years of overuse have depleted this river’s water supply, but its mighty waters are famous for carving their way through the Grand Canyon. It originates in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and winds towards the Gulf of Mexico. Water sport enthusiasts love the Colorado River for whitewater rafting, fishing, and boating.

Kenai River 

Alaska’s Kenai River runs just 82 miles from the Kenai Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, but this waterway is known around the world for its beauty and its fishing. Kenai River has become a destination for family vacations, especially during the summer months. Visitors tackle the rapids in a canoe or kayak while absorbing the stunning Alaskan wildlife. Anglers are lured by the promise of salmon-filled waters, featuring four different kinds of salmon and other species of fish.

Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande provides water for agriculture in the Southwest region and creates separation along the boarder between the US and Mexico. The river originates in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado and flows across the dry lands of New Mexico and Texas. Flowing through such an arid region that’s prone to droughts has depleted the Rio Grande’s water supply. Stretches of this river remain notable for their fishing, outdoor activities and scenic landscape. Rafting or floating down the Rio Grande is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike.

More rivers

Other notable rivers across the US include the Potomac River, Snake River, and the Colombia River. The Potomac River is full of history, floating past some our nation’s most recognizable landmarks in Washington DC. Outside of the city, the Potomac is great for floating, hiking, and fishing. Snake River is one of the most scenic rivers in the country. This waterway starts in Wyoming and streams past the rugged landscape of the Wild West until it joins the Colombia River in Washington state. The Colombia River flows though the remarkable Oregon countryside before emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
From the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between, rivers flow through America’s natural landscape and impact our lives. Networks of streams feed into our city water supplies, our local farms and our outdoor pass times. River waterways helped shape US history, and their impact will continue to trickle down to touch the lives of all Nebraskans.