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Toadstool Geologic Interpretive Trail

Oglala National Grassland, Nebraska

Toadstool Geologic Park, an otherworldly landscape of spires, hoodoos, and badlands, is an off the beaten path gem within Nebraska’s Oglala National Grassland - a hike along the park’s 1 mile interpretive trail gets the hiker up close and personal with many highlights including the park’s namesake formation, the Toadstool Rock.

Often called “The Badlands of Nebraska”, Toadstool Geologic Park is a showcase of weather blasted geological formations and fascinating paleontology - a stop at the trailhead kiosk educates the hiker on all the park has to offer.

After reading up on the info at the kiosk, make your way to the trailhead - use the gate or the turnstile to access the trail and be sure to grab a self-guiding pamphlet.

The pamphlet highlights 9 points of interest, including the fossils, ancient tracks, and geology of the now sandstone escarpment - 30 million years ago a river ran through this landscape, complete with miniature horses, humpless camels, gigantic tortoises, giant pigs, and rhinoceros.

For most hikers, the toadstool rocks stand out as the most striking formations - these hoodoos, which resemble giant mushrooms, are created when clay pillars erode away beneath large sandstone caps. Leaving the large sandstone slab perched precariously on a slender pedestal of clay - these unique formations add mystery and beauty to the desert landscape.


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