The large sign in the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center parking lot reads, “A Welcome Place for Friends & Nature.” A welcome place indeed, as the recorded sounds of sandhill cranes fill the air to introduce visitors from throughout the region and beyond to a wealth of indoor/outdoor experiences and information.
Once inside, visitors will find larger-than-life murals and window graphics depicting Nebraska’s spring migration of sandhill cranes; native wildlife exhibits; and 70-inch touch-screen displays programmed with the latest information on surrounding habitats and Crane Trust research/conservation programs. Also, one of only three special travel kiosks in the state — sponsored by the Nebraska Tourism Commission – gives travelers easy access to updates on attractions and events across the state. You’ll also find the Hornady Art Gallery which showcases beautiful work by regional artists and photographers with Nebraska ties and subject materials, as well as the Crimson Crown Gift Shop, a unique specialty shop, which offers a variety of Nebraska-made gifts and crane merchandise for the nature lover. There are items for all ages; many created by local artists.
When you venture outside, you’ll encounter our butterfly garden where you can relax and enjoy a picnic, a herd of American bison, and you can follow a paved trail to a pair of footbridges crossing the Platte River’s north channel, connecting nature lovers to roughly 10 miles of hiking trails through rare tallgrass prairie, forest and wetland habitats. Nearby, a 35-foot observation tower offers a commanding view of the valley.
Experience the wonder, visit the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center today!