Steamboat Trace Trail

This 21-mile hike-bike trail extends from 6 miles south of Nebraska City south though Peru to Brownville, following an old railroad bed past Missouri Valley riparian hardwood forest and uplands. The trail has a very level grade and a crushed limestone surface throughout, accommodating people of all physical abilities. Since the trail primarily traverses rural areas including forest, marsh, and cropland, it is quiet and not heavily used. Early spring, before the treetops have fully leafed out, is the best time to view migratory songbirds in the wooded areas. Bluebirds are common where bluebird boxes have been placed near the trail. Paw-paw trees grow along the trail near the Honey Creek bridge north of Brownville, providing sweet, banana-like fruits in early fall. Bald Eagles are not uncommon where the trail passes near the Missori River.

The trail is open during daylight hours only, and is closed during deer rifle hunting seasons in November and January. Nebraska City and Peru trailheads have shelters and tables. Peru also provides water, restooms, and camping. The Peru and Brownville trailheads are in town near restaurants and shopping. Nebraska City and Peru have gas stations. Nearby attractions include Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, three-state overlook atop Cemetary Hill in Peru, and several historic homes and museums as well as theaters in Brownville.