Nebraska's Platte River is said to be "a mile wide and an inch deep". This is the trip to test that out. (You will find that it is true.) The changing channel and rivulets of water will keep you heeding the "still waters run deep" philosophy...just under those ripples are the sandbars you'll be dragging your canoe over if you don't pay attention. But this is a fun trip.
Those who have only driven over the bridges spanning the Platte won't believe the beauty of the river, or the hidden backwaters and channels. Put in on the northwest corner of the bridge one mile south of North Bend and you have a fifteen mile trip ahead of you. You'll need to follow the channel, but in most years, and especially early in the season, you can stay on either the north or south side of the river until the last five miles. Then you'll move side to side, wherever the changing waters take you.
I love the north route, my canoe partner the south. Either is a fun trip. Be careful around the rip-rap which stablizes the bank in many areas. Sometimes the changing current causes nasty eddys.
Take out is at a very new and modern boat ramp on the north side of the river, 1 mile west of the HWY 77 bridge. You will want to look at the river from there before you start so you know what you are looking for. (Private ramps are at the HWY 77 bridge a mile further down the river.)
This trip will take from 6-8 hours, depending on the level of the river and how often you stop to wade. Keep your PFD on. The changing current and shifting sandbars can be dangerous.
No facilities at the North Bend bridge.
Port-a-potties at the Fremont boat ramp.
No. Obey Nebraska boating rules
12 miles west of Fremont, NE on HWY 30 to North Bend. One mile south.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website has an overview.