More and more residents and visitors are cooling off in the summer by floating down the North Platte river. To make it safer for participants, the North Platte / Lincoln County Visitors Bureau designed and installed signs along the North River.

“Floating the river, whether in kayaks, canoes, tanks or on tubes is becoming more popular,” Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lisa Burke said. “Our goal in creating this sign is to help people enjoy a day on the river more safely, and to encourage them to be respectful of the landowners adjacent to the river.”

A detailed sign at the Wildlife Management Area on N. Hershey Road, a common entry point, emphasizes that the minimum float time in optimum conditions to the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Recreation Area is six hours, and reaching Cody Park will take about seven hours.

During a landowner meeting discussing a possible North Platte River Water Trail in 2018, it was reported that floaters sometimes get on the river in late afternoon, not knowing how long the trip takes, and need to be rescued.

The sign has a QR code that, when scanned with a mobile phone, links directly to the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District web page that provides river data. Information urges floaters not to get on the river if the flow is less than 600 cubic feet per second or more than 2,000 cfs.

The sign also has safety requirements, suggested items to take with you, as well as a list of wildlife that might be encountered on the trip.

Also, a sign at the Muskrat Run Wildlife Management Area lets floaters know they have traveled 5.5 miles and have 6.5 miles to go.

The Visitors Bureau worked with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to determine the information to include on the sign. Maly Marketing designed the sign and Condon Signs fabricated and installed the signs.

River voyagers can get the details they need from this sign at the North River Wildlife Management Area on N. Hershey Road. (tap on image to enlarge)

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