NORFOLK, Neb. -- A new attraction is making a splash in Norfolk.

The town has installed its very own whitewater rafting and lazy river. 

“When I first went down I didn’t feel like I was in the middle of our town,” P.J. Evans said, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation. “I felt like maybe I was on a little vacation somewhere.”

“It’s something that is kind of addicting and I think they enjoy that experience,” said Nathan Powell, Norfolk Parks and Recreation Director.

“I came in Saturday morning and there were 15 people staying in my parking lot waiting to rent tubes,” said Tony Stuthman, owner of Norfolk Outfitters. “I haven’t seen that before in the eight years that landing has been there.”

The initial drop-off point is located off of 1st street and E Benjamin Ave. The full length of the river runs two miles south through the middle of town. If one were to float from the starting point to the finish, it could take up to two to three hours. 

“We’re seeing the numbers pick up each week,” said Powell. “We’re seeing the parking lot start to fill up, especially on the weekends and in the afternoons.”

The river accommodates kayaks, paddle boards and tubes. There are seven drop sites and even a surfing wave for surfboards.  

A staff will be on hand to assist those who may need it.

“Our rec staff have been having a good time learning how to do the surf feature, how to float on the river using kayaks and all the safety that’s needed with it as well,” said Krystal Schaaf, Recreation Coordinator. “So they are ready to help the community have a fun experience on the river.”

The surf we wave and the whitewater rafting make Norfolk a destination for water activities in northeast Nebraska.

“We are the most land-locked state in the nation,” Stuthman said. “There’s at least two states between us and any coast, and we have a surf wave.”

As Norfolk continues to grow, so do its tourist attractions.