Middle Loup River Challenge

The Third Annual Middle Loup River Challenge will be held September 11, 2021.  The proceeds of the event go towards maintaining public access along the Middle Loup River and maintaining a paddler friendly environment throughout the segments of the river in Thomas County.  Proceeds may go towards paddler friendly fences on private land, public access point improvements, river clean up, or working with private landowners to allow for public access points.  The race is suited for competitive racers and leisure floaters alike.

Registration info:

Early Bird Cost $55 + Processing Fees (Before Aug. 1)

Cost August 1st $65 + Processing Fees 

The following is included in event registration:

  • Gift (shirt or gear suited towards paddle sports)

  • Awards

  • Snacks

  • Meal at the end of the race


10 divisions to choose from

Men's/Women's Competitive Kayak

Men's/Women's Competitive Canoe

Men's/Women's Competitive SUP

Team Canoe


Hills2Forest Adventure Race *New Event* *RACE INFO AND REGISTRATION* 


Friday September 10, 2021:

Check-in at the Sandhills Corral in Thedford from 6:30 until 8:30.  Come and network with other paddlers and meet the sponsors of he event over a meal at The Sandhills Corral.  No meal is provided Friday night, but we have worked with the Sandhills Corral for a discounted meal price for participants.  

Saturday morning checkin is available if you are unable to make it Friday night.  Please arrive by 6:30 Saturday morning for race day checkin.

Race Day September 11, 2021:

The start of the race is a the bridge located 7.5 miles west of Thedford or 7 miles east of Seneca.  Ample signage will guide you to the registration point.

Shuttle service is available at $10/person.  There will be a shuttle in the morning from the finish to the start.  Shuttle will leave the finish at 6:30 am sharp.  Equipment must be dropped at the start prior to the shuttle.  There will be another shuttle available after the race. Equipment will not be shuttled. 

A required safety meeting will begin at 7:15 am near the start of the race.  You are required to have a PFD with you.

The first heat will start at 7:30.

Liesure floaters will start at the old 83 bridge on the east side of Thedford after the start of the race.

The race finishes at the Middle Loup River Guest Ranch.

Adventure racers will start and finish at the parking lot on the west side of the Roadside Inn.  Race maps and instructions to be provided at checkin on Friday night and at the starting line.  

Course Information:

The course consists of a 28 mile competitive race and is filled with many challenges along the way.  The liesure float will start at the old Highway 83 bridge after the start of the competitive race.  








Start - Check Point 1:

This portion is 9.25 miles.  The check point is located at the first Highway 2 bridge on the west side of Thedford.  This portion of he river has many twists and tight turns, which presents a challenge for vessels over 12'.  There are low bridges you may need to portage depending on the type of vessel you have.  

Check Point 1 to Check Point 2:

This portion is 7 miles.  The check point is located at the Gaston Road bridge east of Thedford.  This portion of the race has some small rapids under the railroad tracks just after Check Point 1.  These are not difficult to navigate and are just big enough o give you a little bit of a rush.  You will probably get slightly wet going through them.  The mile stratch through Thedford has a few down tree.  None of these are hard to get around, but they can look intimidating to a novice kayaker at first appearance.  After you get to Highway 83, the river is wide open and easy to float.

Check Point 2 to Finish:

This portion is 11.75 miles.  You will find this stretch of the river easy to navigate and wide open.  The last mile and a half is the most challenging portion of the race though.  The river widens out and gets shallow.  This will likely be he part of the river that makes the difference between 1st and 5th.  Your navigation skills will come into play.  Pick the wrong channel and it might cost you winning the race.











Saturday Evening:

Please join us at Sandhill Sutton's in Halsey for a meal and beer garden (not included with registration).  Come and spend time with other racers and mingle with the locals that help make the event possible.



Women Canoe: MJ Bosiljevac - 7:19:00** 2019

Women Kayak: Mitzi Klimek - 5:13.34 2020

Women SUP: Sara Kay Carrell - 5:53.10 2020

Women Adventure Race: No Record Yet

Men Canoe: Calvin Hassell - 3:39.03 2020

Men Kayak: Josh Krueger - 4:58.02 2020

Men SUP: Marek Uliasz - 6:21.00** 2019

Men Adventure Race: No Record Yet

Team Canoe: No Record Yet

** Record set on 33 mile course finishing at Halsey National Forest.

Spectator Viewing Locations:

Starting line, second highway 2 bridge west of Thedford, Check Point 1 bridge (first Highway 2 bridge west of Thedford), Maple Street bridge south of Thedford (turn south at Ewoldt's Grocery), old Highway 83 bridge, Check Point 2 (Gaston Road bridge), finish line. 



There is a room block with special pricing at the Roadside Inn in Thedford.  Mention Kayak Race. (800) 373-1648

Middle Loup River Guest Ranch (Finish Line), camping at the finish.  (402) 450-2268

Halsey National Forest (877) 444-6777

Frontier Inn in Halsey (308) 533-2240


Tom and Twyla Witt - Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House

Sandhills Journey National Scenic Byway

Roadside Inn

Sandhills Corral

Sandhill Sutton's Speed and Supply

Ewoldt's Grocery

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CP2 to Finish.PNG

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