The Missouri river, at 2,540 miles in length, is the longest river in the United States. It has played an important role in the discovery and expansion of our country to the West Coast, as well as to the discovery and expansion of Nebraska as a state.
The Nebraska Sandhills region is the largest sand dune formation in the Western Hemisphere, spanning over one-fourth the total land area of Nebraska. Formed after the last Ice Age when winds blew the loose sand deposited by retreating glaciers, the Sandhills were shaped into dunes as high as four hundred feet and stretching over twenty miles across the landscape.
Early explorers to Nebraska described the tallgrass prairie region as a sea of grass with open horizons and abundant wildflowers rooted in rich soils. The tallgrass prairie once extended from Eastern Nebraska to Indiana and from Texas to Southern Canada.
The Platte River begins high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, then moves through the dry Great Plains of Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska until it reaches the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, Nebraska. The North Platte and South Platte rivers join to form the Platte River near Ogallala.
The Ogallala Aquifer contains about the same amount of water as Lake Huron, but it is not an underground lake. The Ogallala is composed primarily of loose, poorly sorted clay, silt, sand and gravel with groundwater filling the spaces between the grains below the water table.