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Take Your Valentine to Valentine

By Linda Tancs

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Maybe with some chocolate and a candlelit dinner. Well, there’s so much more awaiting you in Valentine, Nebraska, where of course you can obtain a postmark to commemorate the day of love. But most visitors travel there to start a float trip or to tour the river valley, a good starting point for the 76 miles of the Niobrara National Scenic River that winds through  bluffs, waterfalls and fossil resources along a largely undisturbed shoreline. Less than one percent of U.S. rivers have received a scenic river designation by the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System, an honor reserved for those that are flee flowing with clean water and a largely undeveloped shoreline. The area features notables like the Allen Bridge; listed on the National Register of Historic Structures, it’s the longest single span bridge across the Niobrara. You can paddle among sandstone cliffs and visit public landings like Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and Smith Falls State Park, both of which have beautiful views of the river.

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