Jefferson County, which lies along Nebraska’s border with Kansas, is picturesque with rolling farm ground and tree-lined Little Blue River Valley.
Drivers enjoy picturesque Highway 136, known as Heritage Highway. Long before motorists tooled through the countryside on pleasure cruises, pioneers trudged along on their trek west.
Oregon Trail wagon ruts remain visible at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park. The 350-acre park at the site of Wild Bill Hickok’s first gunfight honors pioneers with an interpretive center, reconstructed buildings and prairie grasses six miles southeast of Fairbury. There are horse trails and equestrian campgrounds. Rock Creek Trail Days, the first full weekend in June, includes wagon rides and a buffalo stew cookout. 57426 710 Rd. (402) 729-5777.
Crystal-clear spring water fills two natural lakes at Crystal Springs Campground on the southwest side of Fairbury. The 73-acre park includes a man-made pond with opportunities for filling fish limits and watching wildlife. Sixty camping sites with electricity are available to campers first-come, first-served. 56701 Crystal Springs Rd. (402) 729-2148.
The Rock Island Depot Museum was once the western division headquarters for the Rock Island Railroad. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m. 910 Second St. (402) 729-5131.
McDowell’s Tomb is a hand-carved mausoleum reached by traveling two miles south of Fairbury on Highway 15, three miles west on Highway 8 and then 1 ½ miles south on 566 Ave. Wearing hiking shoes is encouraged.
The Fairbury City Museum is open weekends 1-4 p.m. and preserves local history, including a new fossil room. 1128 Elm St. (402) 300-1318.
Nearly 100 architecturally interesting buildings make up the Fairbury Commercial Historic District. You’ll find fine dining, galleries, antique shops and more in this four-block neighborhood.
Learn more about Fairbury by contacting the Jefferson County Visitors Committee at visitoregontrail.org or (402) 729-3000.