RiderPlanet USA Motorcycle And ATV Trails
HomeFind ATV TrailsATV and Dirt Bike ArticlesCalendar of ATV and Motorcycle EventsSupport CenterDonate
Help Scroll down for trail contact information and regulations. Select a photo to enlarge.

Dismal River Trail

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Alt Names

Bessey Ranger District, Nebraska National Forest, Halsey Trails, Niobrara River, Whitetail Campground, Natick Campground, Pole Line Trail, Fence Line Trail, Poison Ivy Trail

Last Known StatusOpen

This area offers about 11 miles of smooth and fast sandy trails and a couple open play areas.

Bessey Family Campground offers direct trail access, electric hookups, picnic facilities, water pump (May through September), hot showers and river access. Whitetail Campground also provides direct trail access and is located next to the Dismal River but is a primitive facility so come prepared.

Nearby is the Scott Lookout Tower which offers excellent panoramic views of the forest.

Trail Map... Driving Map... Best Nearby Trails...


Nearest CityHalsey, NE
Go Back To Nebraska List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Halsey, NE
1) Take SR 2 west 2 miles.
2) Turn left (south) on SR-86 B, continue about .5 miles
3) Stage at Bessey Family Campground or continue west on SR-86B 2.6 miles
4) Veer left (east) on Circle Road, continue about 3 miles
5) Trailhead is on the left (east).


LandNational Forest


Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)


Permit RequiredNo
Dates OpenOpen year-round except during deer hunting season.
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermitted
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSPermitted
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered)Permitted
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
No Restriction
Helmets RequiredYes
BicyclesNo Restriction
HikingNo Restriction
HorsebackNo Restriction
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
permitted alongside trails within 300 feet
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
Night RidingUnknown
Cross CountryProhibitedstay on trails
Emergency / Law Enforcement
Insurance*Disclaimer: RiderPlanet strongly recommends that you have medical insurance and carry motorcycle insurance or ATV insurance before taking your vehicle to any of the locations depicted here.


ParkingYes ($3.00)
Tent: $8.00
RV: $11.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $5.00
Bessey Family Campground Fee


Contact InfoNebraska National Forest - Bessey Ranger District
P.O. Box 39
Halsey, NE 69142
(308) 533-2257
Contact InfoRecreation.gov
(877) 444-6777
CommentCampground Reservations


Dismal River Trail Photo

Dismal River Trail

Photo Submitted 10/3/2012 (Thanks!)

Dismal River Trail Photo

Dismal River Trail

Photo Submitted 5/11/2015 (Thanks!)

Dismal River Trail Photo

Dismal River Trail

Photo Submitted 4/9/2016 (Thanks!)


Submit a Photo!


Miles Of Trail11
Climate TypeForest
Elevation2750 to 2800 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Heavily Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has little hard pack terrain.Little
SandThis trail has mostly sandy areas.Mostly
MudThe trail has little mud after it rains.Little
DustThe trail has no dust on typical days.None
RocksThis trail has no rocks.None
TreesThe trail has many trees.Many
Steep HillsThis trail has few steep hills.Few
Small JumpsThis trail has some small jumps.Some
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has some berms.Some
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has some sand or gravel pits.Some
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little



First Aid First Aid30+ Miles (S)Great Plains Regional Medical Center (308) 696-8000
Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (NW)Hodges Conoco Station (308) 645-2249
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (NW)Hodges Conoco Station (308) 645-2249
Potable Water WaterOn SiteBessey Family Campground (308) 533-2257
RV Hookups RV HookupOn SiteBessey Family Campground (308) 533-2257
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (NW)Roadside Inn (308) 645-2284 or (800) 373-1648
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn SiteBessey Family Campground (308) 533-2257
Convenience Store Conv StoreHalsey, NE
Swimming Swim Area30+ Miles (E)Calamus Lake (402) 944-2703 or (308) 665-2912
Body of Water Water BodyOn SiteDismal River
Boating Launch Boat Ramp30+ Miles (E)Buckshot Bay Boat Ramp (402) 944-2703 or (308) 665-2912
© 2018 Misirena Digital, LLC Home  |   ATV Trails  |   Articles  |   Calendar  |   Support Center  |   Good Stuff