The most popular route through the Sandhills is Nebraska Highway 2, deemed the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway. For the westbound traveler, Highway 2 heads northwest from Grand Island, passes the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey, crosses the lake country of the western Sandhills, then exits the region near Alliance and turns north toward the Pine Ridge. This byway is rated in the top 10 scenic routes in the United States and is listed as one of the highways to drive in 1000 Places to See Before You Die.
This is a big claim, especially if you've just looked at a map and seen the vast expanses of space between small towns. But, the people that live along this byway have created gems that you wouldn't expect to find. For example, take the town of Mullen where you'll find three golf course, two of them designed by famous professional golfers, the courses known as some of the best in the world.
If golf doesn't float your boat, then the Dismal River and the Middle Loup Rivers will. Paddlers and birdwatchers can float these rivers for a truly wild experience. To add a touch of uniqueness to the journey, float the river with friends in a stock tank. No kidding.
Head to Halsey to hike through the Nebraska National Forest, the largest hand-planted forest in the world.
People who enjoy wilderness will love the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, because this region of Nebraska is known as one of the wildest, most natural spots left in the entire United States.
For more information on the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, contact (308) 546-0636 or visit www.sandhillsjourney.com.