In the Wild with Greg Wagner

UP A CREEK WITH A PADDLE by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
September 11, 2009, 9:58 am
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kayaking2Have you ever checked out the possibilities of kayaking local creeks in your area? I mean seriously, you should! It’s quite an adventure! It’ll be a challenge with some snag-filled portages and shallow spots, but you’ll be surprised by the serenity and beauty of these nearby creeks!  From seeing carp jump to softshell turtles poking their heads out of the water, you never know what you might encounter. One thing you’re not going to encounter though is a lot of people! Remember, Nebraska has some 24,000 miles of rivers, streams, creeks and canals!  kayaking1 

 If you’re not using public lands for access to these creeks, make certain to do your homework. Take a look at the creek from various vantage points, estimate distance correctly and acquire landowner permission for launching, debarking, hiking, fishing, eating lunch, etc. For safety reasons, please note that the Papio Creek system in the Omaha-Metropolitan area remains closed to all access. Also, keep an eye out for hunters this time of year along these creeks and it would be advisable to wear some brightly-colored blaze orange clothing to be seen while kayaking.

 kayaking3Concerning litter, don’t forget to “pack it in, pack it out.” I always tell folks heading outdoors to try to leave the environment better than they found it!


With nature’s fall colors beckoning, a kayak trip on a Nebraska creek from now through October would be truly divine! Along with basic gear & necessities, carry good, laminated maps & perhaps a GPS unit, take a camera (waterproof that is), wear your life jacket and bring a dry bag containing a cell phone, an extra water bottle and a change of clothing (not that you’re planning to capsize, right?). We’ll look for you up a creek with a paddle now, won’t we! 



Photos of Salt Creek near the Catfish Run Wildlife Management Area just east of Ashland, NE, courtesy of  Tracy O’Meara and Katie Stacey.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for the pictures and info. My husband and I are new kayakers and I was wondering how to go about finding out who the landowner is at a certain location? Mostly I plan on using parks. I’ve also seen some parking by overpasses that I figure would be ok to launch from. What do you think? Thank you for the tips of extra clothing, maps, etc.

Comment by Brandi Tremmel

Hi Brandi,

Welcome to the ranks of the kayakers! To find out who the landowners are along creeks, streams, etc. you would need to contact the Register of Deeds office in the county (county courthouse) in which the property you want to access is located. Another good source for local landowner/property information could potentially be the local conservation law enforcement officer of Game & Parks. Additionally, you and your husband should not be afraid to knock on doors to secure permission from landowners in those locales along waterways either. With regard to parking areas near overpasses or along roadways to launch your kayaks, be certain to contact the regulatory or governing authorities of those to see if it is permissible to do that. Thanks for checking out my blog! Have a good one!

“Wags — Greg Wagner

Comment by Daryl Bauer

Wow!! What breathtaking photos, I have been there and it as beautiful as they look. One of
the best Trips I have been on is A Nebraska Trip.
Folks it is a Beautiful Nebraska, I love it.

Comment by Mother

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