Hiking Trails

Homestead trail map
Explore the trails, sites, and exhibits at Homestead National Monument of America.

NPS Photo

 
Prairie trails
Take a peaceful walk through the prairie.

NPS photo/ Nick Manes

Get out in nature! Hike over three miles of trails through sweeping tallgrass prairie and quiet bur oak woodland.

Trail Rules:

  • No smoking on trails.
  • Foot traffic only on hiking trails. No bikes or motorized vehicles.
  • Pets are not allowed on the trails.
  • Please do not harass the wildlife. All wildlife is protected.
  • This is a natural area. Watch for snakes, poison ivy, and wild animals.
  • Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
  • Please enjoy the trail by staying on the path.

The 100 acres of tallgrass prairie at Homestead National Monument of America has been restored to bring back the plants and animals that once covered the vast central plains of the United States. Explore this rare ecosystem and get a glimpse of what early homesteaders saw when they arrived on the prairie. Then escape from the beating sun and relentless prairie wind into the woods along Cub Creek, and feel the same relief as the homesteaders who found rare trees and water on the Great Plains. Learn more about the nature and science at Homestead.

 
 
Homestead Park Map with trails
Explore the trails, sites, and exhibits at Homestead National Monument of America.

NPS Photo

Trail Lengths

Freeman School Trail- 0.3 miles
Woodland Loop Trail- 0.3 miles
Grain Growers Highway Trail- 0.4 miles
Cottonwood Loop Trail- 0.5 miles
Farm Loop Trail- 0.6 miles
Upland Prairie Loop Trail - 1.3 miles

Palmer-Epard cabin to Freeman Graves on segment of the Upland Prairie Trail Loop- 0.4 miles
Heritage Center to Education Center via Grain Growers Highway Trail- 0.75 miles
Combined Upland Prairie, Woodland, and Farm Loops- 2.1 miles
 
Freeman Graves with Heritage Center in the background
There are many points of interest on the trails. The resting place of Daniel and Agnes Freeman overlooking their homestead.

NPS Photo/ Amy Neumann

Trail Highlights

Osage Orange Hedge Row- Daniel Freeman planted these trees as a windbreak and natural fenceline. Enjoy the shade of the trees while traveling the Upland Prairie Loop and the Cottonwod Loop trails.

Freeman Graves- Daniel and Agnes Freeman were buried at the top of the hill on the western edge of their homestead claim. View their resting place while traveling the Upland Prairie Loop Trail.

Grain Growers Highway- In the 1920's there was an idea to run a highway from Beatrice to Yellowstone National Park. The road was only completed seven miles to Dewitt, but it passed through Daniel Freeman's land. Hike along the old road on the Grain Growers Highway Trail.

DAR Monument- In 1925 the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a monument on the Freeman homestead to commemorate it as the first registered homestead in the United States. It was placed along the Grain Growers Highway which was a road at the time. Learn more about the DAR Monument.

Centennial Time Capsule- In 1962, Homestead National Monument held a centennial celebration for the Homestad Act. During the celebration a time capsule was buried on the prairie to be dug up at the bicentennial in 2062. See the time capsule next to the DAR Monument along the Grain Growers Highway.

Prairie Plaza- Sit down in the shade of the cottonwood trees and observe the plants and animals around you. This observation deck is along the Grain Growers Highway Trail.

Native Plant Exhibit- Learn about and identify prairie grasses and flowers at the native plant exhibit. This area include an identification guide and marked plants on the Farm Loop Trail near the bridge.

Suspension Bridge- A suspension bridge was built over Cub Creek in 1961 to allow people easy access to the restored tallgrass prairie from the newly created Visitor Center. This is the trailhead of the Farm Loop Trail from the Education Center.

Last updated: April 20, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

8523 West State Highway 4
Beatrice , NE 68310

Phone:

(402) 223-3514

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