The Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, right in the middle of the Sandhills, is the largest primarily hand planted forest in the western hemisphere. It is second in the world in size to one in China.
In 1823 government surveyor Major Stephen Long created a map labeling the Great Plains as The Great American Desert, incapable of cultivation and uninhabitable by those dependent on agriculture for their subsistence. Virtually the same opinion was shared earlier by Lieutenant Zebulon Pike when he explored the region in 1806.
The Middle Loup River, much of which is in the Sandhills Journey National Scenic Byway corridor, is part of the Loup River system. The Loup River system includes the South Loup, Middle Loup, North Loup, and Dismal Rivers along with others in the Sandhills, and is one of the most consistently flowing river systems in …