Chief Standing Bear Trail


The Chief Standing Bear Trail follows the former Union Pacific Railroad line, starting in Beatrice along the east side of the Big Blue River and flows through the villages of Holmesville, Blue Springs, Wymore, and Barneston. It connects to the Kansas Blue River Rail Trail at the Nebraska/Kansas border. The total trail miles from Beatrice to Marysville, Kansas are about 37. 


The Homestead Trail (Beatrice to Lincoln), Chief Standing Bear Trail (Beatrice to NE State Line), and the Blue River Rail Trail (NE State Line to Marysville) were part of the 2002 joint purchase between the City of Beatrice, Lancaster County, and the Nebraska Trails Foundation Inc.


E. A. Howard's journal that detailed the removal of the Ponca Tribe from their homelands has determined that the former railroad tracks along this section of the Union Pacific Railroad followed a path similar to where the Ponca Tribe walked when they were forcibly marched from their home at Niobrara, NE to a reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. That journal also noted that on June 11, 1877 they camped within 1 mile of Beatrice and then walked south along the Big Blue River. The trail has been nominated to be recognized as a National Historic Trail.