Sandhill Crane Public Viewing Locations
Sunrise and sunset are prime viewing times on the river. During the day, the cranes are in the fields eating, “fueling up” to continue their journey north.
Fort Kearny State Recreation Area Hike/Bike Bridge
The Fort Kearny Hike/Bike Bridge spans over the Platte River, making it the perfect spot for sunrise or sunset viewing. It’s about a 300 yard walk from the parking area. Camping and other wildlife opportunities are also available. This old railroad bridge is part of the Kearney Trail System, connecting Fort Kearny to Cottonmill Park, a distance of 13.1 miles.
You will need a Nebraska State Park Permit to park here, which can be purchased at the Fort Kearny Visitors Center or at the Rec Area Kioski.
1020 V Road, Kearney
Roadside Viewing Sites
Multiple Roadside viewing sites available for day viewing. Can use your car as a blind or some sites have wooden blind.
Shown here is Audubon’s Roadside Site located 2.5 miles W of Rowe Sanctuary.
CPNRD Roadside Viewing Site located 2 miles W of Rowe Sanctuary.
Plautz Viewing Platform
With convenient access off Interstate 80, this area south of Exit 285 (Gibbon) provides a safe platform for spectacular views of cranes, herons, egrets, pelicans, and many other birds. CPNRD has crane and waterfowl viewing decks along the Platte River with free parking
1.5 miles south of 1-80 Exit 285 (Gibbon)
Windmill State Park
Situated at the Gibbon Interchange 14 miles east of Kearney, the area draws its name from the old-time windmills in the park. The oldest windmill is a 1880 Standard that was used to pump water for steam locomotives in Fleming, Colo. All have been restored to working order.
2625 Lowell Rd Gibbon, NE 68840