Scenic Snake River Falls re-opening following vandalism
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Scenic Snake River Falls re-opening following vandalism

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One of Nebraska's most scenic sites, Snake River Falls, will reopen to public visitors next week.

The site's private owners closed it in July after finding graffiti carved into the sandstone walls behind and adjacent to the falls, about 25 miles southwest of Valentine. The owners also noticed an unusual amount of litter and people trespassing beyond the site's established trail.

"It seems like lately, people pay no attention to us or any of the signs we put up," said Dr. Mike Adams of Fremont, president of the Snake River Preservation Group, which acquired the falls and surrounding land in 2012.

Those signs were "small and unobtrusive, and many people didn't pay any attention to them."

So the owners installed a rope boundary and new signs that are tougher to miss. Also, removing the graffiti caused some scarring to the rock walls.

Still, Adams said, "The falls are unobstructed and beautiful."

The site reopens for public viewing beginning Sept. 16, and will remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Viewing access costs $1 for adults and 75 cents for children.

"Hopefully, all who come will treat the terrain and landscape with the respect that it deserves," the preservation group said in a news release.

Most of the 3,100-acre Snake Falls Ranch is accessible only to members of a private hunting and fishing club. A part of the Snake River that runs through the ranch is considered a world-class fishery, with abundant wild populations of brown and rainbow trout.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7234 or zpluhacek@journalstar.com

On Twitter @zachami.

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