Hiking and Walking in Lincoln
Love to walk or take a hike? Lincoln offers seemingly endless options that are not just beautiful, but also a great workout. Before setting out on any Lincoln hike, make sure you have adequate water. Lincoln is such a great city to walk, hike or bike, as it is full of scenic parks, paths and trails abound. If you love short runs or walks, or to just ramble in and around the city, writer and naturalist Becky Seth compiled a list of the 10 most scenic walks around the city for Lincoln Today. We added additional information to give you more choices. We love these recommended walks and they are definitely worth a stroll.
1 Holmes Lake & the Billy Wolff Trail east 70th and Normal Blvd. Walk around Holmes Lake (particularly nice at sunset) and continue east on the Billy Wolff Trail through wooded areas and several city parks.
2 Wilderness Park parking areas on Pioneers Blvd., Old Cheney, 14th St. and Saltillo Rd.
The trails of this linear park are mostly wooded, stretching along Salt Creek and offering many opportunities to view birds and other wildlife. Some bridges are out but the trail is continuous from Pioneers to 14th. Trails in Wilderness Park are open from the north end to S. 14th Street. Horse trails east of S. 14th Street (east side of Salt Creek) and hiking trail north of Saltillo Road and east of Salt Creek.
3 Pioneers Park and the contiguous Nature Center (entrances on South Coddington and West Van Dorn) The Park is one of Lincoln’s largest, designed by Ernst Herminghaus and placed on the National Register of outstanding landscape architecture in 1993. Its trails wind past sculptures, ponds, a playground and a picnic area. The west end leads into Pioneers Park Nature Center with its eight miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands and tall grass prairie. Gardens and exhibit animals invite pausing for a closer look. Go to parks.lincoln.ne.gov/naturecenter for a Nature Center trail map. (Dogs and other pets are not allowed in the Nature Center).
4 The Haymarket area north of O St.,
west of 9th St., the Salt Dog’s Stadium and around Oak Lake. The Haymarket area features historic buildings, art galleries and many great places to get a meal or snack. A pedestrian bridge on 8th Street leads to the baseball stadium and you can easily wend your way
west and north to Oak Lake.
5 The Rock Island Trail, A & 29th St.
to Densmore Park. This trail with large wooded stretches winds through Antelope Park and area neighborhoods.
6 The University of Nebraska City Campus the Antelope Valley Project and the north end of the Billy Wolff Trail. Strolling the UNL City Campus, enjoy the “Torn Notebook,” a Claes Oldenburg sculpture (Q and 12th Streets), the Sheldon Art Gallery with surrounding outdoor sculpture garden, other campus buildings, the Love Library gardens, and Broyhill Fountain at the Student Union. Just north of the football stadium, go east and walk through the recently completed Antelope Valley Project on the Billy Wolff Trail. Continuing on the trail, visit the Sunken, Rose and Rotary Gardens at 27th and Capital Parkway.
7 The Tierra/Williamsburg Trail
27th and Highway 2 south past Pine Lake Rd.
Another trail that winds through lovely neighborhoods past many small ponds.
8 MoPac Trail 84th and Hazelwood Dr.
east to Wabash, Nebraska.This rails-to-trails project winds through suburban neighborhoods, wooded areas and fields taking you through beautiful country.
9 Jamaica North Trail Pioneers Blvd. east of 1st St., south to Saltillo Rd., 26th & beyond.
Another rails-to-trails project, this path runs along Wilderness Park, has long wooded stretches and offers rich possibilities for wildlife viewing. It continues as the Homestead Trail, which will soon be completed all the way to the Kansas border and beyond.
Editor’s Note: If you are looking for a trail just outside Lincoln then try the Nine Mile Prairie, Fletcher Ave. west of W. 48th. This 200-acre tallgrass prairie has a network of trails that offer a glimpse of the ecosystem that once stretched down the center of the U.S. For a map of many of the options listed here, visit the Great Plains Trail Network at www.gptn.org/ or consult the map in the Lincoln phone book.