George Shannon, the youngest and most educated in the Corps of Discovery, was lost for 16 days in the area of present day northeast Nebraska.
The Trail encompasses an area steeped in history, dotted with pioneer cemeteries and ghost towns.
The Nebraska communities involved are Bloomfield, Bow Valley, Center, Creighton, Crofton, Hartington, Lindy, Niobrara, St. Helena, St. James, Santee, Verdel, Verdigre, Wausa, Winnetoon, Wynot, and the Ponca and Santee Sioux Nations.
A National Park Service grant and donations from local banks contributed to the placing of sixteen wayside signs commemorating the life of George Shannon. Following the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he was wounded in a battle with the Arikara in a failed attempt to return the Mandan chief, Shekeke, to his village; his leg was subsequently amputated above the knee. He helped Nicholas Biddle prepare the first narrative account of the Expedition for publication. Shannon then became an attorney and circuit judge, served in the Kentucky and Missouri state legislatures and ran against Thomas Hart Benton in a bid for the U.S. Senate. He died at age 50.