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Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, NE – Volunteer Vacation 2024

June 2 @ 5:00 pm - June 8 @ 10:00 am

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Come enjoy the beautiful sandhills of Nebraska on the Niobrara National Scenic River! Home to six different ecosystems converging in this area, Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places to visit in Nebraska.

Volunteers will work on pruning and clearing vegetation and repairing small walking bridges on a one-mile loop trail. Additional trail maintenance will be available if time permits. Volunteers will drive or carpool to the project site.

During this trip, Fort Niobra’s average high temperature is 69°, and average low temperature is 45°.

There is no experience needed to join a Volunteer Vacation! Your expert hosts will provide detailed instruction, tool demonstrations, and project oversight throughout the week. All you need is a willing attitude and to be in good physical condition to participate in moderate physical activity for approximately 6-8 hours a day with plenty of breaks, at your own pace. Find out more about what it’s like to join a Volunteer Vacation and other frequently asked questions here.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Tséstho’e (Cheyenne), Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Páⁿka tóⁿde ukʰéthiⁿ (Ponca), and Oohenumpa peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, their deep and sacred connection to these lands, and those who continue to steward these lands today. We offer this land acknowledgement as the first of many steps to stand as an ally and amplify Indigenous voices. We invite the American Hiking Society community to join us through continued efforts to support Indigenous communities and learn more about the history of the lands on which we live, work and recreate.

Click here for a PDF of trip details.


US Fish & Wildlife Service




Volunteers will drive or carpool to the project site.

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

There is a herd of 350 bison that is managed on the refuge with new calves born in the Spring and a bison roundup occurring in early October. Prairie wildflowers are always blooming throughout the spring and summer. The trail that will be receiving the work has a waterfall, sections are in a wilderness area, and it borders the Nation Scenic Niobrara River. The town of Valentine is about 2,500 people with a homemade ice cream shop, a brewery, and some of the best beef in the U.S. Valentine is also part of the cowboy trail - a bike trail that spans over 100 miles on an old railroad, bikes can be rented in town. There are many hunting, fishing, and world-famous golf courses in the area. Smith Falls State Park also has one of the best waterfalls in Nebraska and Merritt Reservoir is known as a national dark sky location for star gazing.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will stay in a bunkhouse with 8 twin beds. There are two couches, two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, potable water, two refrigerators, a washer/dryer, and a gym. Volunteers will have the additional option of sleeping in their tent outside of the bunkhouse. Volunteers need to bring their gear, linens, toiletries and towels, and personal tent, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad if they intend to sleep outdoors.


North Platte-Lee Bird Regional Airport in North Platte, Nebraska is the closest major airport. Airport pick up and drop off is not available for volunteers, however carpooling and rideshare can be arranged upon confirmation of the trip. Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge t is a 2 hour and 20 minutes drive from North Platte-Lee Bird Regional Airport. Chardon NE and Pierre and Rapid City SD also have airports within 3 hours.


Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge
39983 Refuge Road, Valentine, NE 69201 United States + Google Map