America's Scenic Byways

Heritage Highway

238 miles - Approximately 4 hours.

The Heritage Highway extends from the wooded and hilly area of the Missouri River to the prairie lakes region of south-central Nebraska. The rewards for those who take the road less traveled (or in this case, U.S. Highway 136) are varied and wonderful.

Put yourself in the place of early discoverers and pioneers as they crossed the Missouri River and ventured forth through the forests and onto the plains. Museums along the byway follow the area's first inhabitants, the Native American tribes and the progression of European settlers. Historic main streets border modern farms. Heritage, culture, arts and crafts are celebrated at various fairs, festivals, and theatrical presentations.

Travel through the prairie land Willa Cather depicted in her many novels of life on the Nebraska plains. Visit the Cather Historical Center, art gallery, or bookstore. Follow the Oregon Trail, see a Pony Express station, or view the location of America's first homestead. This claim was filed under the Homestead Act of 1862 that brought millions of settlers westward.

Tour restored Victorian homes, enjoy a quiet and relaxing trail ride, join a canoe race down the Republican River, fish, swim, ski or boat at the Harlan County Reservoir. Or simply sit and appreciate miles of gently waving grass and fertile prairies.