Trails

Trail Map

Each year about a million “treks” happen on Lincoln’s trails. With over 134 miles of hard surface and crushed rock trails, you can get just about anywhere you want to go using both on and off street routes. There are also several miles of hiker/biker trails within our parks making our system top notch. Whether you ride, run, jump or skip, using Lincoln’s trails are the perfect way to stay fit and save gas!

For additional information and resources about biking in Lincoln and surrounding trails, visit Bike Lincoln

 

Equestrian Trails 

Equestrian trails, also known as horseback riding trails or bridle paths, are specifically designed pathways for horses and riders. Lincoln Parks and Recreation does not offer trail rides where horses can be rented. Parking areas are available for trailers within a close proximity of the trails. 

Pioneers Park Equestrian Trail

Pioneers Park offers a riding experience with a variety of wide views of park space to shaded forest riding. The trail is approximately 2.6 miles and traverses Pioneers Park. Horses are not allowed past the arches at the Pioneers Park Nature Center on the far west of the park. 

Schedule of Events on the Trail

The following events are scheduled in Pioneers Park and may result in impacts to the equestrian trails. Cross country and other running events will require that the Tallgrass Meadow Loop (blue) be closed. Other events may impact parking areas and cause increased vehicle traffic at crossings. 

Cross Country Schedule 2021

  • August 9, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
  • September 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, 26, 30,
  • October 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 14, 22, 24
  • December 8 

Concert Schedule 

  • August 10
  • September 7, 8, 22 

Other events like annual car shows, performances and other special events not included in the schedule above may impact park use and parking. 

Pioneers Park Bridle Path Action Plan

In response to questions and concerns from horseback riders about the bridle paths in Pioneers Park, Lincoln Parks and Recreation has developed an action plan. Elements of the action plan include maintenance standards and practices, signage, webpage information, extension of the bridle path system, and opportunities for volunteer involvement. The action plan was developed after a community meeting in July 2017 and a subsequent community survey was offered in 2018. 

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommended adoption of the final version of the Pioneers Park Bridle Paths Action Plan during the regular monthly meeting on March 8, 2018. 

Download the draft (1-10-2018) Pioneers Park Bridle Paths Action Plan(PDF, 584KB)


 

 

Wilderness Park Equestrian Trail 

Go horseback riding in the wooded trails in Wilderness Park. Parking lots on S. 1st Street, south of Pioneers Blvd, and on S 14th St., South of Yankee Hill Rd. are capable of allowing horse trailers to maneuver. 

  • The majority of the trails are loose soil. 
  • All park visitors are reminded to pay attention to signs warning of access restrictions. 
  • Riders are asked to avoid trails after major rain events in order to keep the trails in better condition. 
  • Some sections of the trail are shared use and all visitors should also be aware other trail users (hikers, bikers, riders) may be present and to practice proper trail etiquette. 

Municipal Codes

12.08.240 Fastening or Hitching Animals. 

It shall be unlawful for any person to hitch any horse or other animal to any tree, shrub, fence, railing, or other structure, except such as are provided for that purpose, or to allow any horse or other animal to remain unhitched beyond the reach of the driver or attendant in any park. (P.C. § 12.08.160: Ord. 3489 § 30-116 amended by Ord. 5775 July 12, 1954). 

12.08.080 Animals in Parks. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, ride, or lead any horse in or through any park except upon roadways or paths designated by the Director. (P.C. § 12.08.040: Ord. 13204 § 6; September 14, 1981: prior Ord. 9078 § 3; August 22, 1966: Ord. 8171 § 1; September 3, 1963: Ord. 3489 § 30-104 as amended by Ord. 5775; July 12, 1954). 


 

 

Major Trails

 

Billy Wolff Trail

LPR-TRAIL-Billywolff.jpgBuilt in 1978 and named after Billy Wolff, a longtime downtown bicycle shop owner, this was Lincoln's first trail stretching from Holmes Lake Park to Lincoln's downtown. Following several additional phases of construction, the trail now follows Antelope Creek from the Devaney Sports Center and University of Nebraska on the north to 91st and Highway2 on the south for a total of 8.5 miles. This trail has many amenities along the way including providing a connection to the Jayne Snyder Trails Center and Union Plaza near 21st and "Q" streets, Antelope Park filled with ballfields, picnic shelters, playgrounds and Ager Junior Golf Course. The trail also parallels Holmes Lake Park and Golf Course near 70th and Capital Parkway. Portions of the trail are adjacent to busy streets, however the majority of the trail is through quiet and serene areas of a greenway corridor that follows Antelope Creek. 

The concept of a bikeway had its beginnings in 1971, when Mayor Sam Schwartzkopf’s Bicycle Safety Committee assigned streets parallel to busy arterials as bicycle routes. In late 1972 a pilot study on bikeways was included in the State Game and Parks Commission’s recreation plan. One of the proposals was for the use of flood control levees along Antelope Creek. This route was appealing because it would connect five city parks (Holmes, Antelope, Pansing, Eden, and the Municipal Building), have fewer street crossings, and provide access to over 20 other city recreational facilities.

Before the trail’s completion, the trail was originally called the Antelope Creek Bikeway. In 1978 the City Council proposed to name the trail after Billy Wolff. Wolff was a local bike shop owner who sold and serviced everything from bicycles to scooters. Since he opened the store in 1919, Wolff sold over 100,000 bikes to the city’s active residents. Wolff also was a major philanthropist and volunteer for local causes, especially those of troubled youth in Nebraska. Whether it was helping judges in the Lincoln court system consider parole for young offenders or starting donations for Children’s Day at the Nebraska State Fair, Wolff’s priority was always building up the future of Lincoln. It was an easy choice to honor Wolff in this way. 

On April 21, 1979, Mayor Helen Boosalis rode a bicycle through a paper covered hoop, officially opening Billy Wolff Memorial Trail. This was Lincoln’s first trail stretching from Holmes Lake Park to Lincoln’s downtown. 

Bison Trail

Stretching from 10th and Van Dorn west to Pioneers Park, "buffalo chips" marked the ground breaking of this trail. The trail was dedicated in November, 2002. It connects with Van Dorn Park near 9th and Van Dorn, Salt Creek Levee and Jamaica North Trail near First and Van Dorn, Wilderness Park near this same location and travels through Bison Park where it connects with Pioneers Park on the west. This trail will eventually provide a connection to the Prairie Corridor along Haines Branch, a project that is developing a greenway/prairie corridor from Pioneers Park to Denton and Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center some 7.5 miles west and south of Lincoln.

Before the construction of the Bison Trail, any cyclists attempting to ride to Pioneers Park had to share a narrow road along with many cars. With Pioneers Park being less than two miles from downtown Lincoln, many cyclists were frustrated that there were no safe or easy ways to hike or bike to the park. 

The Bison Trail, stretching 1.7 miles, was a priority for the City of Lincoln from its conception in the late 1990s until its completion in 2001.

Boosalis Trail

Named after Mayor Helen Boosalis, it was built as part of a federal highway project in 1980. The trail extends from 17th & Burnham to Old Cheney & Hwy 2. This trail provides connections to the Rock Island and Old Cheney Trails. 

The trail was originally simply named after the highway that runs adjacent to Highway 2. However, in July of 2006 the trail was renamed after former mayor Helen Boosalis. Boosalis was a Lincoln City Councilor from 1959 through 1975 and mayor from 1975 through 1983. 

In her 24 years of elected office, Boosalis was a champion for neighborhood and community beautification and parks. She initiated the development of the city’s trail system with the construction of the Billy Wolff Trail along Antelope Creek. 

All who use the city’s nationally recognized trail system can thank Boosalis for her vision, and naming this trail for her is public recognition for her dedication to this community.

Jamaica North Trail

Located on the abandoned Union Pacific Corridor this trail connects the downtown Haymarket / Pinnacle Bank Arena area with rural Nebraska south of Lincoln. The trail proceeds south through Wilderness Park and then south across Saltillo Road where it becomes the Homestead trail which extends to Beatrice. This trail will eventually continue south of Beatrice into Kansas.

The Jamaica North Trail is named after the historic Jamaica townsite south of Saltillo Road. It once was on the Union Pacific Railroad line, which is now the corridor for the trail. The tiny town was erected in 1895 and named after the town of Jamaica, New York. The village was never fully developed and after trains were developed that could travel further, and a water stop at Jamaica was no longer needed, the few buildings were abandoned. 

This trail connects the downtown Haymarket / Pinnacle Bank Arena area with rural Nebraska south of Lincoln. The trail proceeds south through Wilderness Park and then south across Saltillo Road where it becomes the Homestead trail. The Homestead Trail becomes the Chief Standing Bear Trail in Beatrice and continues south to the Kansas border where it becomes the Blue River Trail south to Marysville, KS, over 82 miles.  

Jayne Snyder Trails Center

LPR-PARK-UNION-JSTC.jpg

The Jayne Snyder Trails Center - The Jayne, opened in the fall of 2012. Located adjacent to the Billy Wolf / Antelope Valley Trail and on Union Plaza at 250 No. 21, The Jayne serves as the hub for many of Lincoln's trails that connect in close proximity to the facility. It was built with donations from the Great Plains Trails Network and serves as a place to gather for trail users, public gatherings, meetings, receptions, festivals, and related uses. The Jayne is part of the Active Living Center that includes space for future retail use as well as the Community Health Endowment Office which is located on the second floor. 

The facility was named after Jayne Snyder, a business owner, physical therapist, lifetime runner, City Council member, and person that dedicated her life to helping people and serving our community. She helped spearhead Lincoln's trails network by raising private donations and chairing many fundraising campaigns.

LPR-PARK-UNIONP-JSTCin.jpg


John Dietrich Trail

Constructed in 1985 this trail is the result of the NE Radial Reuse Project. Supported by the neighborhood it was named after a long time trails advocate and bicycle shop owner in NE Lincoln. It extends from 22nd & Holdrege to 48th & Fremont Streets. This trail connects with the Billy Wolff Trail near 17th and Holdrege and proceeds northeasterly to where it connects with the Murdock trail near 48th and Fremont. This trail provides a connection between the downtown UNL Campus and East Campus. It also goes through Lintel and Fleming Fields Recreational Sports Park and Upco Park.  LPR-TRAIL-dietrich.jpg

The trail was named after John Dietrich, a longtime bicycle shop owner, advocate for local trails, and a lifelong resident of Northeast Lincoln. Dietrich opened his bicycle shop in 1945. After a five-year retirement he returned to the bicycle business in 1983. Dietrich sold more than 20,000 bicycles during his active years and repaired thousands more. The bike path was completed and dedicated in October of 1985, with Dietrich present as an honored guest. He closed his bicycle shop not long beforehand, so the opening of the trail was a huge honor and representative of how one person can affect an entire community. Dietrich passed away in 2007, but was able to see many Lincolnites enjoy the trail named in his honor.

MoPac Trail

Following the abandoned Missouri Pacific Railroad corridor, the trail begins at the University of Nebraska Campus near 19th and Vine Street, and then proceeds east through Lincoln to 84th Street and the Novartis Trailhead. From that point, it continues 25 miles to Wabash. The project which started in 1993 was completed in 2009 following construction of the section from the University to 30th Street including the Elaine Hammer Bridge over North 27th Street. It does pass through Peter Pan Park, McAdams Park, and provides a connection to Bethany Park.


Murdock Trail

Constructed on former Rock Island right of way that was owned and donated to the City by David Murdock, this trail connects with the Dietrich Trail at 48th and Fremont and extends east to 112th streets. The trail was dedicated in August, 1994. The Murdock Trail connects with Mahoney Park and continues east over Stevens Creek to 112th.

David Murdock. Murdock and his wife, both from Los Angeles, traveled to Lincoln on business several times. As CEO of the Dole Food Company and developer of the Cornhusker Hotel, Murdock wanted to make it a priority that communities were positively affected by his time, talents, and treasures. Murdock wanted Lincoln to be one of those communities.

In spring of 1994, Murdock purchased and donated land to the City of Lincoln to create a trail connecting the Dietrich Trail in Northeast Lincoln. The trail was officially opened in the late summer of 1995, encouraging Lincolnites to enjoy the natural beauty of their city. 

 This trail connects with the Dietrich Trail at 48th and Fremont and extends east to 112th streets. The Murdock Trail connects with Mahoney Park and continues east over Stevens Creek to 112th.


Rock Island Trail

Constructed on right of way purchased in 1985, this trail connects the Children's Zoo along Capitol Parkway with Densmore Park south of 14th & Old Cheney. It travels through Antelope Park, Bishop Heights Park, Peterson Park and provides a connection to Tierra Park. It also connects to the Billy Wolff Trail on the north, Boosalis and Tierra/Williamsburg Trails near Highway 2 and Wilderness Park west of south 14th.

Rock Island Railroad passed through Lincoln for the last time in 1980. This railroad once passed through both Lincoln and Omaha frequently, creating a lengthy line of railway track between these two cities. An idea was pitched to turn this railway into a walking/biking trail in 1985. After much planning and sizing down of the trail, Rock Island Trail was officially opened in 1990.


Salt Creek Levee Trail

Dedicated in 1990 and constructed by the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District as part of the Crescent Green Plan, this trail follows Salt Creek and the levee that was constructed to protect Lincoln from flooding. It connects with the Jamaica North Trail on the south and Oak Lake Trail and Haymarket Ballpark and Pinnacle Ban Arena on the north to Superior Street.

In the mid 1960s, students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Architecture created an eight-mile “dream of a park” along the northwestern border of Lincoln that bordered the Salt Creek basin. This park, named Crescent Greens, was considered a priority for both the City of Lincoln and the University of Nebraska, as architecture students would take the helm in the park’s design and construction. These architecture students would be partnered with members of the Lower Platte South Natural Resources Department (NRD). 

It was considered a corridor along the Salt Creek, allowing for an urban green space, similar in nature to today’s Union Plaza. However, little was done in terms of construction of the park space after fifteen years. The Mayor eventually ordered progress to be done in the mid 1970s. After much starting and stopping, the Crescent Greens project was eventually abandoned, and the land sold to the City in 1982. 

Since the Crescent Green Agreement was approved in 1982, the City of Lincoln and the Lower Platte South NRD have cooperated on several land transfers. From the west side of Salt Creek at A and South Streets, to the east side of Salt Creek at Haymarket Park, the land slowly fell back into the hands of the City. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department immediately saw the potential for maintaining the creek’s natural shape and beauty by creating a trail that followed the path of the creek itself. 


Tierra/Williamsburg Trail

Connecting with the Rock Island Trail, the Tierra/Williamsburg trail proceeds through the Tierra / Williamsburg neighborhoods and connects with the South Pointe Trail and Pine Lake Trails that go west along Pine Lake to Densmore Park. Following one of Lincoln's neighborhood drainage corridors, the Tierra/Williamsburg Trail connects with the Yankee Hill Trail and eventually to the south Beltway.

Deep within the design of the Williamsburg/Tierra neighborhoods are trails that weave through neighborhoods and parks. The Williamsburg/Tierra trail is an example of how trails can be included as an integral part of a neighborhood.

Originally constructed solely in the Williamsburg neighborhood in the late 1990s, the Williamsburg/Tierra trail quickly expanded, correlating with the explosive expansion of the southwestern area of Lincoln. As new neighborhoods, shopping centers, and schools popped up, the City of Lincoln made it a priority to also provide outdoor recreation for its newest area of the city. The Williamsburg/Tierra trail was eventually expanded to connect with the South Ridge Trail and extended to Densmore Park. 

The Williamsburg/Tierra trail stands as a testament to the determination of Lincoln’s citizens. These trails strengthen and connect some of the neighborhoods of South Lincoln.


 

Wilderness Park Trails

Trails FAQs

I want to host a run or event that uses trails. What are the steps to do so?

 

Do I have to have my dog on a leash while on a trail or in a park?

Yes. 

What are the municipal codes about bicycle use and lights?

10.48.110 Equipment on Bicycles; Brakes and Lights. Brakes. Every bicycle operated on the street in Lincoln shall be equipped with a brake adequate to control the movement of and to stop the bicycle. The brake on each wheel that has a brake must be capable of holding the wheel tightly so that the wheel will slide on dry, level pavement when the bicycle is pushed forward. 

Light, Front. Every bicycle operated on the streets of Lincoln, paved walkways through city parks or on Lincoln's designated pedestrian-bicycle trails between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a white light that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet from the front on a clear night. The light shall be directly attached to the bicycle or worn by the bicycle’s operator.  

Light, Rear. Every bicycle operated on the streets of Lincoln between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a red light that is visible for a distance of at least 500 feet from the rear on a clear night. The light may be directly attached to the bicycle or worn by the bicycle's operator. (Ord. 18042 §1; July 29, 2002; prior Ord. 15649 §11; July 9, 1990: P.C. §10.64.080: Ord. 13057 §1; December 15, 1980: Ord. 11981 §6; May 16, 1977: Ord. 5699 §1508; April 12, 1954). 

Trail Projects

We are always making improvements to our trails system.  Check back often for updates on our current and future projects. 

Recent closures, construction and pavement repair affecting trails

The City of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department has two projects that are currently impacting trails. The first is along the Billy Wolff Trail between Old Cheney Rd and Glynoaks Dr. The project will increase stream stability, decrease sediment deposit in trail undercrossings, and modify the trail route to separate it from the stream channel. The trail is closed in the project area throughout the project. The second project is in the area of Penny Bridges/ Sheridan Blvd and the Rock Island Trail. This project will improve drainage, decrease stormwater flows on the trail, and replace rough trail surface. The portion of the trail between Van Dorn St. and Calvert St. is closed throughout the project.

 

Salt Creek Levee Trail

  • Stonebridge Trail: This trail will provide a connection with the Stonebridge development north of I-80 between Humphrey and Alvo Rd. and east of 14th. When complete, the trail will provide a connection from 14th and Humphrey and the Alvo Rd. Trail west of 14th Streets. It will also connect Schoo Middle School in Fallbrook with Koozer Elementary near Stonebridge. The project will be complete in mid-August.

  • Rock Island to Jamaica North Connector: This project will construct a trail connection and bridges over the active railroad tracks just west of Densmore Park. This will connect the Rock Island Trail to the Jamaica North Trail. The project is expected to begin in fall of 2019 and be completed in May of 2020. 

  • Salt Creek Levee Trail J Street Underpass: Currently, the Salt Creek Levee Trail leaves the levee south of J Street to cross under the railroad tracks at 1st Street and then returns to the levee. This is one of the busiest points in the railroad system, representing the eastern edge of Hobson Yard where train enter and leave, crossing Salt Creek. The Lower Platte South NRD has been working through this complex project for several years now. Utility easements and railroad coordination have made this a challenging undertaking! But construction is planned to happen soon. 

  • Wilderness South Bridge: This project will replace a bridge over Salt Creek that collapsed in 2009. The bridge will reconnect about 7 miles of trail on the southern end of Wilderness Park to the Jamaica North Trail as well as the rest of Wilderness Park. The project is expected to begin in fall of 2019 and be completed by spring of 2020. 

  • Prairie Corridor Trail: There are two segments of the Prairie Corridor Trail that are currently in the design phase. One is at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, which will be the southern extent of the Prairie Corridor Trail as planned. The other involves construction of a bridge and railroad undercrossing on the Stiefel Johnson Trailhead near SW 84th and Old Cheney Road and will connect that to the100 acre Two Creeks Prairie. These two projects may be constructed as soon as the 2020 construction season. 


Prairie Corridor Trail

There are two segments of the Prairie Corridor Trail that are currently in the design phase. One is at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, which will be the southern extent of the Prairie Corridor Trail as planned. The other involves construction of a bridge and railroad undercrossing on the Stiefel Johnson Trailhead near SW 84th and Old Cheney Road and will connect that to the100 acre Two Creeks Prairie. These two projects may be constructed as soon as the 2020 construction season. 



Wilderness South Bridge

Wilderness South Bridge: This project will replace a bridge over Salt Creek that collapsed in 2009. The bridge will reconnect about 7 miles of trail on the southern end of Wilderness Park to the Jamaica North Trail as well as the rest of Wilderness Park. The project is expected to begin in fall of 2019 and be completed by spring of 2020. 


Stonebridge Trail

Stonebridge Trail: This trail will provide a connection with the Stonebridge development north of I-80 between Humphrey and Alvo Rd. and east of 14th. When complete, the trail will provide a connection from 14th and Humphrey and the Alvo Rd. Trail west of 14th Streets. It will also connect Schoo Middle School in Fallbrook with Koozer Elementary near Stonebridge. The project will be complete in mid-August.

Rock Island Trail

Rock Island to Jamaica North Connector: This project will construct a trail connection and bridges over the active railroad tracks just west of Densmore Park. This will connect the Rock Island Trail to the Jamaica North Trail. The project is expected to begin in fall of 2019 and be completed in May of 2020.