The Republican River meanders through Webster County and provides Red Cloud and Guide Rock with scenic beauty as well as water for the surrounding farmlands. The Republican River begins at Haigler in southwest Nebraska where the North Fork Republican and the Arikaree Rivers out of Colorado converge. It is also fed by another Colorado river, the South Fork Republican, and eventually ends into Milford Lake, northwest of Junction City, Kansas. The river is flanked by rolling hills and some sharp ridge crests. The river valley is 3/4 to 2 miles wide and graced with stands of cottonwood and willows. Wildlife along the river is plentiful including deer, turkeys, beavers, herons, coyotes, and foxes.
The trip begins south of Republican City at North Outlet Park (below the dam) operated by the Corps of Engineers. Republican City is located along U.S. 136 and you can get there by taking U.S. 183 through Alma or Nebraska 10 near Franklin. Take Berrigan Road at the east end of city, then go south until you see the signs for the park. The park contains modern camping, boating, picnicking and sanitary facilities. To follow the general course of the river by road, you can take U.S. 136 or the gravel county road shown on the map.
The canoe parking lot is east of the dam and you must carry your canoe and supplies about 50 yards through a wooded area to the point of entry. It is 4.7 river miles (2-4 hours) to the Naponnee Bridge. You can take out or set in on the south side of the river west of the bridge. From the Naponee bridge to Bloomington bridge is 8.1 river miles (4-6 hours) where access and parking is south of the river and east of the bridge. The first primitive camp is 4.1 river miles (3-4 hours) from the Bloomington bridge, north side. From the camp to Bislow’s Landing access point near the county road on the south side, is 3.2 ( 2 hours) river miles. From the landing to the next primitive camp east of Riverton, on the south side, is 13.2 river miles ( 6-7 hours). If necessary, you can get out the bridges, but it is difficult because of steep banks and narrow road shoulders. The primitive camp at Red Cloud is 15.6 river miles (8-10 hours) and is south of the river just west of the U.S. 281 bridge where there is parking and automobile access to the river, trips end.