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Smith Falls State Park, Valentine

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web
Smith Falls, at 63 feet, is the highest waterfall in the state of Nebraska. Located 18 miles east of Valentine, the falls is part of Smith Falls State Park and is adjacent to the Niobrara National Scenic River. The state park was established by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1992. In 1996, the historic Verdigris bridge was moved to its present site spanning the Niobrara River to provide more convenient public access.The falls are on a short spring-fed stream that plunges into a small canyon on the south side of the Niobrara. As the canyon is narrow and sheltered from direct sunlight, it is much cooler than the surrounding landscape; this allows a unique set of flora to grow that is atypical for the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The canyon is home to paper birch and an endemic hybrid grove of quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen .During the Wisconsin glaciation that ended around 10,000 years ago, north-central Nebraska was much cooler than it is today. The ice age climate supported boreal forest trees like birches, spruces, and aspens, all of which currently predominate in Canada. As the glaciers retreated, so did the boreal forest, which is ill-suited for hot, dry summers. However, the cool canyons along the Niobrara sheltered some of these trees.
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  • My granddaughter , daughter and I took a photography adventure out west and this is one of the things we went to see. My granddaughter (9) LOVED it. She got in the water. LOL not realizing how cold it...  read more »
  • It was worth the short walk and the rangers were very helpful. Beautiful, peaceful area to visit. Would stop again. 
  • This was a beautiful waterfall. The walk from the parking area was about half a mile and not strenuous. You walk over a bridge and then on to a wooden walkway to the falls. There was some snow on the ...  read more »
  • Money for the park money for camping money to see the waterfall. Go down the road to Fort Niobrara wildlife refuge it's free, camp in Valentine at the park it's free. You'll still enjoy yourself. The staff here is very nice & helpful and if you want to pay to camp it's a nice place.
  • Good and fun it's just that there are a lot of ticks
  • This is a real gem of a park, with great camping and the best staff. We loved it here, and I would highly recommend it. PS: the park is not in Valentine, but about 12 miles outside town - ask in the shell station and they will give you directions
  • Place to see if you spend time in Valentine area!
  • A great place off the beaten path to decompress and enjoy the beautiful Niobrara River! A nice spring-fed waterfall you can walk to (could push a rugged wheelchair to) and get underneath.
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Visit for 3​h 30​m
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