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Spanning 308 feet (94 meters) over Interstate 80, just east of Kearney, the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is a museum which chronicles the historical aspects of the Platte River Valley, and more than 150 years of transportation and communication across America. It was built where westward routes converged, including American Indian paths, fur trader routes, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Pony Express, the Lincoln Highway, and the first transcontinental railroad.
Between 1843 and 1869, more than 500,000 people traveled westward in the largest voluntary migration in human history. Pioneers rode in covered wagons, rode horses, led donkeys loaded with their possessions, or even walked, pushing hand carts heavy with their belongings.
Interactive exhibits, film, computer graphics, light and sound shows, life-size dioramas, and re-enactments all combine to teach about the pioneers who passed through Nebraska on their way west. Examples of some of the exhibits include a re-creation of a buffalo stampede, the writings and photographs of some of the pioneers who traveled westward, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and the building of the Lincoln Highway, which was the first transcontinental road.
Other attractions include educational programs for children, staff members dressed in period costumes who answer any questions, and the Chuckwagon Restaurant.
Updated Nov 30, 2010
It isn't exactly a tourist trap in the sense that no one tries to 'sucker' anyone there, but I never saw much of interest in Chadron State Park near Chadron, Nebraska. The park is mostly a short driving loop on a hill. The views are okay, but they are not spectacular. I don't remember any trails worth doing. They have a campground, but it didn't seem very friendly. Maybe others would differ with me, but I wouldn't recommend planning a stop in Chadron except to buy gas.
Updated Aug 26, 2002
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