Smith Falls is the highest falls in the state of Nebraska, coming in at a whopping 63 feet. This might not seem impressive when compared to Niagara, but when combined with the peaceful ambience and inviting natural beauty surrounding them, it is certainly nothing to ignore. The falls lie on the Niobrara River, a haven for canoers, rowers, kayakers, and floaters. The cascade lies within Smith Falls State Park, a charming venue for camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Whether you’re planning an extending visit in order to take advantage of all the activities available, or a simple one day getaway, Smith Falls has many things to offer.
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Smith Falls is located just eighteen miles east of Valentine, NE, a small city of just under three thousand people, nestled in the Sandhills of north central Nebraska. The town was founded when the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad was extended to that point. Until 1967, the demarcation point between mountain and central times ran right down the center of Main Street, meaning that the small city actually existed in two different time zones. On Valentine’s Day, thousands of pieces of mail are received at the local post office, only to be re-mailed with a “Valentine” postmark and a short verse.
You can find two national wildlife refuges in the area. The Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge offers the opportunity to view buffalo, antelope, and elk in their natural environment. Kids and adults alike will love watching busy little prairie dogs going about their business, darting in and out of their burrow homes. Nearby Valentine National Wildlife Refuge offers much the same. Either, or both, offer excellent opportunities to see nature at its best. For those who appreciate a little physical exercise with their lovely views, pay a visit to the Niobrara River, a scenic waterway and a favorite of locals and tourist alike for canoeing, kayaking, or simply floating down river on a tube.