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Over 40 miles of bike trails wind past Yankton’s most historic sites and beautiful scenes. Plan a one-day or weekend excursion through parks and lakes, over a river, along a creek and even to another state. All bike trails are paved and trail maps are available at the Yankton Chamber and Visitors Center (803 E. Fourth St.). The Center is also starting point for the Auld-Brokaw Trail that meanders through Yankton along Marne Creek. Longtime NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw and his wife Meredith, who both grew up in Yankton, donated $350,000 toward the paved trail, which was dedicated in 2001 and named in honor of their families. The 2.75-mile path is lined with trees, native grasses and wildflowers — some with interpretive signs identifying them. In fair weather, butterflies and birds float by, rabbits hop near and an occasional mink even slinks into the babbling stream. A bridge beside Webster Elementary School (317 Seventh St.) branches off the Auld-Brokaw Trail into Yankton’s historic residential district. The Cramer-Kenyon Heritage Home (509 Pine St.), built in 1886, is open summer afternoons for guided tours. It’s the tallest Queen Anne style home in South Dakota. Other interesting offshoots include the 1.4-mile Arboretum Trail around Yankton High School (1801 Summit St.), Riverside Park’s bike paths and the Meridian Bridge Trail, a double-decker bridge that crosses the Missouri River into Nebraska. The historic bridge, once part of Highway 81, closed to traffic in 2008 and reopened as a pedestrian bridge in 2011. At .5 miles on each level, it’s the longest pedestrian bridge in the U.S. that connects two states over a major river. For more mileage, depart the AuldBrokaw Trail at Eighth and Summit and follow the Highway 52 Trail. It passes the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium (31227 436th Ave.), one of 70 federal hatcheries and fish technology centers operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its 10,000 gallons of aquarium space house local species like pallid sturgeon, eel, 34– Yankton, South Dakota salamanders, frogs and turtles. Outdoor ponds raise various fish species that are shipped throughout the Midwest and beyond. Ask about guided group tours and fish feeding opportunities. Next follow the Highway 52 Trail west and merge onto Lewis and Clark Lake Trail. This 6.9-mile route winds from Pierson Ranch Recreation Area past Lewis and Clark Marina and Restaurant and all along Lewis and Clark Lake, ending at Gavins Point Beach. From there, you can either swim or take a hike on one of two paths — Gavins Point Nature Trail, a 1.2-mile loop overlooking Gavins Point, or Chalk Bluffs Multi-use Trail, a strenuous 4.1-mile path shared by hikers, horses and mountain bikers. Then head back toward Gavins Point Dam. At Crest Road, just past the marina, you have a decision to make: keep straight or head south on Crest Road to cross the dam and then east on Nebraska Highway 121. At a little over three-quarters of a mile from the crest of the dam you’ll find another bike path that follows the highway. It ends at Murdo’s Aten Resort, a popular restaurant and bar known for walleye, steaks, seafood and views of the Missouri. Hop back onto the highway and follow it to Highway 81, then hang a left and head the 2 miles back to Yankton. Once you’re near, you can either go right to take the Meridian Bridge back into town, or follow traffic over the Discovery Bridge, built to replace the Meridian. Finish your outdoor adventure at one of downtown Yankton’s restaurants, bars and coffee shops, many of which feature outdoor seating. For a unique experience, visit the Ice House located across the street from Riverside Park. It started as an ice company in 1928 and now serves buckets of beer at an outdoor loading dock. Honor tradition by smashing your empty bottles under the dock. vBy Rebecca Johnson