Exploring Trails around Lincoln

Published: Tues., August 20, 2019

Welcome to Fall Semester! As you begin your studies and responsibilities on campus this fall, remember to make sure you take time for yourself. Developing a sense of work-life balance helps maintain mental and physical health. One of the options you may choose to use to find your “me” time is to take advantage of the many trails in and around Lincoln. It’s also a great way to save gas and stay fit.

Whether you bike, run or walk (or even ride horses), there are many connected trails in Lincoln equaling 131 miles of “hard surface and crushed rock” paths will get you from one edge of the city to the other and beyond. A resource on the Lincoln Parks and Recreation web site lists 25 trails within the Great Plains Trails Network. Lincoln recently included bike lanes on many of their downtown streets to enable bikers ease of use. Three of the trails were named the best in Lincoln from users, history and the quality of the area.

One of the first trails established in Lincoln connected downtown Lincoln and the city campus to Holmes Lake Park. You can now begin your ride at the Devaney Center or connect along the Antelope Creek and ride to the park. If you wish to continue, the path has been extended to 91st and Highway 2 in the south. There is a downloadable trail map at the site listed previously.

The largest park in the city is Wilderness Park located near the southern edge of Lincoln but still connected to the rest of the trails in the city. It has biking, hiking and horse riding areas. As you take advantage of these trails you’ll need to watch for the trail type denoted by signs along the trails. Wildlife observation spots near clearings and benches are available along the trail. If you like to fish, take your pole. If you have a dog, Holmes Lake Park has a great dog park (Rickman's Run) that has 26 acres for your dog to play in.

Pioneers Park
"Pioneer Park b " by Jonathan Reyes; licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The third trail is within Pioneers Park. The park has served as an education center and wildlife sanctuary since its creation in 1963. There is wildlife exhibits as well as places for children to play. While you’re there discover some of the gardens. Included in this park is an outdoor theater where many plays and concerts are held.

If you are able and want to drive away from the city and then do your hiking there are few within an hour’s time. Platte River State Park is a popular one with a trail that leads you to the Stone Creek Falls. Not too far away is the Mahoney State Park. Mahoney has activities year-round with sledding and ice skating. From observations located in either of these parks you can view the countryside. The fall color time would be a great time to take advantage of this opportunity. Please note that the designation of State Park means that a small entry fee is required to use the park. Both of these parks may be found just off Interstate 80 northeast within 35 miles from Lincoln.

Please make sure you are aware of the safety requirements for riding. You will need to have working brakes, a front light and rear light from dusk to dawn. For wooded areas you will want to include bug spray. Be safe and enjoy the outdoor opportunities in Lincoln.