Peru occupies the northeast corner of Nemaha County along the banks of the Missouri River. This small town of 600 is home to Nebraska’s first college, Peru State College, and gorgeous oak trees.

The town’s proximity to the Missouri River has forged its character and physical landscape. A section of land was carved off in the 1800s when the river changed course. McKissick Island now lies on the eastern side of the river. The town’s biggest event every year, Old Man River Days, celebrates how the town came together to protect itself from rising floodwaters in 1943.

Learn more about Nemaha County communities and attractions by visiting


Discover Activities in Peru

  • Peru Nebraska State College

    Peru State College

    The small town of 600 residents at Peru swells by approximately 2,500 people every fall when students return to Peru State College. Founded in 1867 as the first college in Nebraska, it ...

  • Old Man River Days

    Old Man River Days traces its origins back to 1943 when Peru's residents banded together to protect the town from the rising flood waters of the Missouri River. Peru’s ...

  • Steamboat Trace Trail

    Mountain bikers, hikers and parents with strollers seek out the Steamboat Trace Trail for a peaceful, 21-mile route through limestone bluffs and scenic riverbanks. From the trailhead in Peru, ...

  • Peru Bottoms Wildlife Management Area

    The Peru Bottoms Wildlife Management Area preserves 2,000 acres of prime habitat for hunting, fishing and birdwatching along the banks of the Missouri River. Public boat access is available near ...

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Photos from Peru