Mulberry Bend Overlook

Image of Mulberry Bend Overlook with its interpretive wayside panels and the Missouri River in the background.
A stunning view from the upper point at Mulberry Bend



A dramatic view of the Missouri National Recreational River awaits visitors at Mulberry Bend Overlook. From the parking area, a short paved trail leads to two overlooks that offer views of a free flowing segment of the Missouri. This portion of the river exhibits characteristics that were common hundreds of years ago but are no longer seen on the "man-made" portions of the river.

At the first overlook, exhibits provide information about the national park and early American Indians who inhabited the region. At the uppermost overlook, exhibits interpret the river's hydrology, the surrounding forest and a flood that devastated the town of Vermillion in 1881.

The paved trail rises 60 feet to the top and is wheelchair accessible to the first overlook. A picnic table and vault toilet is available near the parking lot.


Mulberry Bend Trail
This moderately strenuous unpaved trail begins at the upper viewpoint at the end of the paved trail. It is a 3/4 mile trail consisting of a loop with 2 spurs to viewpoints overlooking the river. The route winds through dense bluff forest of bur oak, cedar, ash, and other native trees.

Getting There: Take South Dakota Highway 19 south from Vermillion (it becomes Nebraska Highway 15 as soon as you cross the bridge) or Nebraska Highway 15 north toward Vermillion. The overlook is on the east side of the highway in Nebraska.


Trail Brochures

All brochures are available either at trailhead, by visiting Park Headquarters or requesting an electronic version via email.

  • Trail Map
    A hiker's guide to the nature trail including site history and trail map.
  • The Oak Savanna
    While the MNRR primarily protects and celebrates the Missouri and Lower Niobrara Rivers and their floodplains, the park also owns and maintains areas of upland oak bluffs adjacent to the river.
  • Woodland Plants
    Guide to common woodland plants including bur oak, Kentucky coffeetree, columbine, ironwood, Virginia waterleaf, violet, Dutchman's breeches, and woodbine.
  • Prairie Plants
    Guide to common prairie plants namely big bluestem, narrow-leafed purple coneflower, wild four-o'clocks, common milkweed, shell-leaf penstemon, side-oats grama, prairie coneflower, and soapweed.

The Mulberry Bend Boat Launch (RM 775.0) is nearby. A vault toilet is available and primitive camping only is allowed. To drive to this one-lane concrete boat ramp, take South Dakota Highway 19 south from Vermillion (it becomes Nebraska Highway 15 as soon as you cross the bridge) or Nebraska Highway 15 north toward Vermillion until you come to Road 579. Turn onto this gravel road and continue ahead 1.9 miles until you come to the boat ramp on your left.

Last updated: September 5, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

508 East 2nd Street
Yankton, SD 57078


(605) 665-0209

Contact Us