Historic Tunnels & Roads
The Burlington Railroad Belmont Tunnel is the only railroad tunnel ever built in Nebraska. Located near Crawford, the tunnel is approximately 1.5 miles east of Highway 71 and just north of the East Belmont Road bridge, following the railroad tracks. The tunnel is clearly visible from behind a fence and visitors are encouraged not to trespass on railroad property.
Completed in 1890, the 750 foot tunnel was cut through solid rock. It was later enlarged in the 1920s but was still only designed for a single rail line. The tunnel was eventually abandoned in the 1970s when a new double line was constructed.
The Fossil Freeway extends from the Black Hills of South Dakota south through western Nebraska. Journey back in time as you explore the incredible prehistoric treasures preserved throughout the fossil sites on the Freeway. North to south:
- Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, SD
- Toadstool Geologic Park, NE
- Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed, NE
- Trailside Museum at Fort Robinson State Park, NE
- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, NE
- Scotts Bluff National Monument, NE Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area, NE
Bridges to Buttes Scenic Byway / US Highway 20
Designated a Nebraska State Scenic Byway in 1999, the Bridges to Buttes byway runs along a portion of historic US Highway 20. “Route 20,” as it’s sometimes called, spans 3,365 miles and is considered to be the longest road in the nation. The Bridges to Buttes section passes through some of the most beautiful, scenic countryside in all of Nebraska. From the rolling bluffs near the Missouri River to the towering buttes in the west, the byway is a sight-seer’s delight. Gain a sense of the vast landscape the pioneers once traveled across, and keep your camera ready to capture a photo of the wildlife in the area as well. Gold Rush Byway.
When gold was discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874, miners and prospectors hurried to the area to try their luck. The Gold Rush Byway commemorates the main transportation line used by freight companies shipping thousands of dollars worth of gold from Deadwood to Sidney. It’s recorded that from 1874 to 1881, up to $200,000 in gold traveled this route.
Part of the CANAM Highway (US 385) which extends from Canada to Mexico, the Gold Rush Byway closely mirrors the original Sidney-Deadwood Trail. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy views of panoramic vistas, wildlife, recreational spots, geologic landmarks, museums, dining and more!
Crazy Horse Memorial Highway
Designated in 2010 by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, the section of Highway 20 from Hay Springs to Fort Robinson was selected in honor of Crazy Horse, the Lakota war leader. Residents of Chadron actively called for the designation one year prior, in the hope that commemorative signs along the highway would help residents and visitors remember Crazy Horse’s important place in the region’s history.