DescriptionValentine is in the northeast portion of Nebraska's Sandhills, the largest tract of grass-stabilized sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere. The city, surrounded by some of the country's most productive rangeland, has an economy based on cattle ranching. Valentine is the seat of Cherry County, which is larger than Connecticut.
Cherry County Historical Society Museum , Main Street and US 20, has pioneer memorabilia documenting the settlement of the area following the establishment of a military reservation in 1879. A log cabin owned by Valentine's first postmaster is furnished in period, and genealogical research is available; phone (402) 376-2015.
Nearby Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest breaks the landscape of wind-sculptured hills with stands of pines and the Merritt Reservoir. Waterfalls highlight many of the creeks flowing into the Niobrara River, which is bordered by pine-covered bluffs. Snake River Falls, the state's largest by volume, is reached from the road to Merritt Dam; follow signs.
A 22-mile portion of the Niobrara River, a National Scenic River east of Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, is popular with canoeists; rentals are available. Kayak rentals are available through local outfitters; phone (406) 376-1901. Frequented by anglers as well as more than 200 species of birds are the 36 natural lakes in the grasslands of the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, south of town. Visitors to the area can spot white-tailed deer, muskrats, beavers, coyotes and raccoons. For recorded information about the refuge phone (402) 376-3789.
Visitor InfoValentine Chamber of Commerce 239 S. Main St. VALENTINE, NE 69201. Phone:(402)376-2969 or (800)658-4024
Things to SeeFort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge