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Hiking, history, and Miocene fossils in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge region

Seated in the Pine Ridge region of Nebraska, Chadron State Park is 972 acres of majestic Ponderosa pines, lakes, and rivers. The park is perfect for camping, with modern amenities and electrical hookups for $15 per night. In addition, it also offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and river rafting.

For those who would rather stay indoors, the nearby town of Chadron is a perfect home base for your exploration of the Pine Ridge. This small, picturesque town is filled with Old West history, and the walking tour of historic Chadron will teach you more about the area’s past. The Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center houses even more local history, and hosts a “Day of the Dead” exhibition through August 28.

An hour’s drive from Chadron is the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, one of the most complete Miocene Era mammal sites in the world. You can visit the museum to learn more about the Miocene Era, or hike the vast tableland of the Daemonelix Trail for only $3.

If you’d like something a little unusual, take a short drive to Carhenge, the reproduction of Stonehenge made entirely of vintage cars. This bizarre and fun formation is definitely worth the trip, and admission is free.

Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.

Have a recommendation for the Pine Ridge region, or another great getaway in Nebraska? Post your comment below.

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