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A  Driving Tour Along the Missouri River Bluffs 



A winding tour of country lanes is available to those who want to see varied foliage, wildlife and scenic photo spots along the Missouri River.  The 50 mile drive stretches from Nebraska City in Otoe County winding down the back roads of southeast Nebraska, to Indian Cave State Park on the Nemaha and Richardson County line.  This self-paced tour is enjoyable anytime of the year.  In early spring the red buds and plums are in bloom, in summer drive under the canopy of shade trees along the route and the fall foliage is truly a spectacle.    History abounds on the tour at Nebraska City's AppleJack Celebration or Living History Days in the fall.  Attend Peru's Fall Festival, or Brownville's Flea Market and Living History events.  Watch our local calendar for weekend events in the area year round.      
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Driven by The Good Life Staff on September 27, 2006.
 All roads are rocked and open for the adventure.  A very scenic drive


Begin at the intersection of Highway 75 and Highway 2 in Nebraska City.  Drive east on Highway 2


Take the first right (towards the winery) on Highway 2 after the Factory Stores of America onto 3rd Street


Turn left at the first corner


Proceed to a STOP sign, turn right (.4 miles from Highway 2)


Turn left at the next stop sign onto a paved road, (1 mile from last stop sign)


Go about 3.9 miles, cross the RR tracks, and turn right onto a gravel road (S71 Rd). Pass the trailhead on your right, then cross a RR crossing one-half mile from the paved road.  Continue south to the intersection, turn right on S72 Rd.  You pass over the Steamboat Trace Hiking/Biking trail and enter the "ghost town" of Minersville. The old town is marked  by a grain elevator, an old windmill, and remnants of old buildings.


Follow this road to an intersection and take a hard left at the top of the hill (2.9 miles from the paved road)


Continuing 1.3 miles, note the octagon white farm house on the left.  This is one of the few homes of this style left in Nebraska.


Turn left just past Camp Creek Cemetery (4.8 Miles from the paved road) Follow this road taking the curve to the right at the 72nd and P intersection.  Follow this road for 1.5 miles.  It will bear right onto Q Rd.  Continue on to Q and 70, taking a sharp left onto 70th Rd.


Turn left at the top of the hill (7.5 miles from the paved road)


Continue south across two bridges and the levee, entering Nemaha County.  In Nemaha County 72 Rd becomes 642 Ave.


Turn left after crossing the trestle bridge (11.7 miles from the paved road) onto Bluff Dr.


Stay on this road, which will take you along the Steamboat Trace Trail, and past the Peru Depot Trailhead as you enter Peru from the north.  Continue down Fifth St., through downtown, going approximately 1 mile onto the Peru State College Campus, the Campus of a Thousand Oaks. 


 At the intersection of Fifth and Park, you will see the "Little Red School House" welcome center and museum  Turn left on Park and turn around using the parking lot on the left.  Go back onto 5th St, back toward downtown.  Turn right on Washington St., then left on 3rd.  Take 3rd to California past the yield sign then turn right.  Follow California up the hill.


At the top of the hill you will find the curved Memorial Bench, which overlooks a three-state area, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska (Original site of Mt. Vernon Post Office, Peru's original post office and name).  Take the circular drive through Mt. Vernon Cemetery (some markers date to 1880) exiting at the other gate.  Turn left at the stop sign.  At the top of the hill, look to your left you can see where the Nishnabotna and Missouri Rivers join


Continue on 645A Rd. to a T-intersection with 734 Road.  Go east on 734 Road one mile, jog left onto 646 Avenue and follow the curves.  646 Avenue will become 646A Avenue as you follow it east and around back south.  This section of the route is particularly scenic as it follows the ridgeline.  Watch closely to your left for openings in the trees affording sneak peeks of the Missouri River below.


At the T-intersection of 646A Avenue and 733 Road go west (right) to highway 67, then south on Highway 67 one mile to 732 Road.  Go back east on 732 Road, which will curve southeast and become Bluff Drive and follow it to Brownville (there is a T-intersection just north of Brownville: continue straight at that intersection, do not turn right)


In Brownville, go east on Main Street to the intersection of highway 136.  Cross Highway 136 just before the Missouri River bridge and follow the curves south past the Brownville Recreation Area.  This is river bottom country again, and  Steamboat Trace will be on your right at the base of the bluffs.  The paved road takes you past Cooper Nuclear Station and then turns to rock and continues in the Village of Nemaha


 From Nemaha, follow Highway 67 south approximately five miles to the turn-off to Indian Cave State Park.  Turn east (left) onto the park road


Follow the road until you reach the park entrance.  The scenery is spectacular any time of the year


Enjoy your drive! 




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