Parks A to Z

Parks are FUNdamental to Lincoln's wellness. We enjoy 166 parks in Lincoln with more than half of them identified as neighborhood and mini-parks. Parks and Recreation also cares for more than 6,000 acres of natural greenspace areas, four fenced dog parks, disc golf areas, and skate parks.

Check out Parks Near Me page to display all the parks, pools, playgrounds, and more within an interactive map near a specific location.


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A-to-Z list of Lincoln's Parks

Descriptions of various parks amenities are in Lincoln-Lancaster County 2050 Comprehensive Plan.

Regional Parks and Tournament Sports Facilities

Regional Parks and Tournament Sports Facilities are tracts of land that encompass special or unique facilities and features that are of interest to diverse groups throughout the community.

Regional Parks primarily provide opportunities for day use activities that may include community festival/ gathering spaces, picnicking, hiking, sports, fishing, canoeing, boating, and environmental interpretation/appreciation.

Fields and courts for organized sports activities may be secondary or primary uses.

Community Parks

Community Parks are typically 30 to 50 acre sites that are readily accessible from arterial streets and the commuter/ recreational trail system.

Community Parks may include play fields and play courts for organized sports, a playground with an accessible fall surface, facilities for day use activities including a picnic shelter and restroom, seating, walking paths, and off-street parking. They may also include a swimming pool and/or a recreation center. Community Parks often include areas left in a natural state with meadows, prairies, forest, wetlands and other natural features as part of Parks and Recreation's FUNctional Landscapes program.

Community Parks often include activity areas consistent with those located in neighborhood parks and as a result, Community Parks may serve as the Neighborhood Park for surrounding residential areas.

Neighborhood Parks

Neighborhood parks are centrally located within areas of residential development and intended to be accessible by no more than a ten-minute walk from residences within the neighborhood. Typical activity areas include playground equipment, open lawn areas for informal games and activities or play courts with a single basketball goal for informal games, shaded seating, and walking paths.

When possible, neighborhood parks are co-located with elementary schools, a concept referred to as “Sparks”. Neighborhood parks that are associated with schools are typically 2 acres in size and located so that they can be accessed by students during the day and still easily accessible to the neighborhood when school is not in session.

When parks are not located with schools, an area of about 4 acres is desirable to provide some of the open play area which is provided by school playfields in a “Spark”.

In some cases, Neighborhood Park services are provided within larger Community Parks.

The “Mini Park” and “Pocket Park” terms are used internally to track different facilities and considers both to be subsets of neighborhood parks.


Aquatic Facilities

Aquatic Facilities are developed to provide opportunities for water recreation activities. The City of Lincoln owns and manages ten Aquatic Facilities: nine outdoor public pools, and one free-standing sprayground in Trago Park.

The most recently constructed outdoor swimming pools (Highlands Pool and University Place Pool) are designed as “pool in a park” facilities. These pools feature zero depth entry, interactive water features, and a deep well for diving activities.

Four of these facilities are classified as Community Pools (Highlands, Star City Shores, University Place, and Woods) and five are classified as Neighborhood Pools (Air Park, Ballard, Belmont, Eden, and Irvingdale)



The community has an existing system of multi-use trails that currently provides a trail within one mile of 95% of dwelling units in the City. The system serves users such as bicyclists, pedestrians, rollerbladers, and parents with strollers and wagons. The present system serves both commuter bicyclists and pedestrians who use the trails daily for work and shopping trips and tend to travel from point to point, and recreational bicyclists and pedestrians who tend to use the trails on a more occasional basis, seeking attractive and safe routes.

Much of the current trail system is built in the right-of-way of abandoned railroad corridors. Others are built along streams in the floodplain, along one side of major arterial streets, or as part of residential development.

Maintenance of the system includes litter pick-up, mowing, trail clearing, and signage. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department, and the Lower Platte South Natural Resource District are primarily responsible for trail development in Lancaster County. Lincoln Parks and Recreation, along with Lincoln Transportation & Utilities, maintain trails in the City and all of Wilderness Park while the Lower Platte South NRD maintains County trails. Volunteer organizations also assist in maintenance as well as donating significant funds for trail development.