Class I Calamus River, NE

Calamus River Canoe Trail (Nebraska Highway 7 to Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area)

The river takes its name from the calamus plant (acorus calamus). The Sioux called the river Sinke ta wote wakpa, “food for the muskrat river.” It rises from two forks at Moon Lake and Clapper Marsh in the Sandhills.


It flows even in the hottest and driest summer months because of groundwater from the underlying Ogallala Aquifer. Water seeps clear and cold from artesian wells and springs. River access is limited because the surrounding land is privately owned.

Section Details

Trip Length Multiday, 56.6 Miles
Fishing Yes
Camping Yes
Manager National Park Service, Niobrara National Scenic River
Wild & Scenic No
Water Trail Yes
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