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Niobrara National Scenic River Activities

Canoeing the Niobrara and exploring its diverse flora, fauna, and waterfalls are the leading recreational activities on the Scenic River. Boaters can paddle through the Fort Niobrara Wilderness where rugged hills of ponderosa pine and interspersed prairie lie on its north banks, and forests of white-barked paper birch and linden grow on southern slopes. Bison and elk can be viewed on a self-guided driving tour in the central portion of the refuge. The hike to Fort Falls is refreshing.

The canoeable reach also passes through the Niobrara Valley Preserve, owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy and showcasing prairieland and bison management. Camping, hiking, and sightseeing are popular at Smith Falls State Park.

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Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.