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 2022

  • August: 8, 11, 16, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 30
  • September: 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 30
  • October:1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 13, 21, 23
  • December: 4 

Pinewood Bowl Concert Schedule

  • May: 10, 14
  • June: 12, 16, 18
  • July: 14 - 17, 12 - 24, 27 - 30
  • August: 2, 5, 29
  • September: 16, 23

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

The Column Loop trail gates will close in early May through late October.

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. Wilderness Park Trails are separated into Red, Green and Yellow segments and signed throughout the park.  Red and Green trails are open to all users, including equestrians.  Equestrians are not allowed on Yellow trails.  The Day Camp, 1st Street, 14th Street and Saltillo Trailheads are all 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. 
  • Trails are shared use and all visitors should 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

 

 

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 W. Holdrege, east and west of NW 48th St. This project impacts the intersection at NW 48th St. The second is the reconstruction of W. A Street. Phase 1 of this project installed trail along the south side of W. A Street from SW 23rd to the Highway 77 overpass. Phase 2 will construct trail from SW 23rd St. west to about SW 37th St.

Recently Completed Projects:

Prairie Corridor Trail

The southernmost extent of the Prairie Corridor Trail has been completed on Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center property. The trail extends north from the education center to the north boundary of the property. Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center has also upgraded trails south of the Education Center. This project was completed with grant funds from the Lancaster County Visitor Improvement Fund and a generous donation form Union Bank and Trust.

Jamaica North Trail Bridge #7

The old railroad bridge approximately 1/2 mile north of the Saltillo Trailhead on the Jamaica North Trail had been partially closed for several years due to rotting timbers in the substructure. A generous donation from the family of Dr. Stephen W. Carveth allowed it to be replaced with eight large culverts which will be much easier to maintain over time. A rest area with information about birding was added to the project in honor of Dr. Carveth's love of nature.

   

Projects Under Construction:

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 project will create an undercrossing of the railroad track allowing the trail to remain along the Salt Creek banks. The existing tunnel will remain in place.

  

Upcoming Projects:

Rock Island Bridge over Salt Creek in Wilderness

In 2021, Lincoln Parks and Recreation was awarded a $310,500 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to extend the Rock Island Trail from the new Great Plains Trails Network Connector on the east side of the park near Densmore Park, across Salt Creek on an old railroad bridge and to the west side of the park.  This will create a link between the east and west sides of the park. Construction is anticipated in 2023.

Beal Slough Trail

This project will extend the Helen Boosalis Trail from S. 56th St. and London Road southeast through the Beal Slough greenway to Pine Lake Road and then continuing to S. 70th and Yankee Hill Road. Funding is being provided by the federal Transportation Alternatives program with matching funds collected from Impact Fees in the district. At this time construction is planned to begin in early 2023.

Fletcher Landmark Trail

This project will install trail along the south side of Fletcher Ave. from 14th to 27th Streets, providing an important connection from the 14th Street Trail to North Star High School. This project is being funded by Federal Transportation Alternatives program dollars with matching funds coming from Impact Fees collected from the district and other developer contributions. Construction could begin as early as fall 2023 and be completed by spring 2024.

Cover letter(PDF, 162KB)

Informational handout(PDF, 252KB)

LOCATION

Identified as Fletcher Landmark Trail, Lincoln, this proposed project consists of creating a new trail segment to connect to an existing trail network in the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. A new 10-foot wide by 5-inch thick concrete trail, approximately 6,257 feet long, would begin on the southeast corner of the intersection of North 14th Street and Fletcher Avenue and run along the south side of Fletcher Avenue terminating at the southwest corner of Fletcher Avenue and North 27th Street. The trail would provide a connection with the existing 14th Street Trail at the southwest corner of North 14th Street and Fletcher Avenue. The bike trail would cross four named streets: Rockford Drive, Tombstone Ridge Drive, Marmot Point Drive, and Telluride Drive. The bike trail would also cross one private commercial access drive approximately 600 feet west of the Fletcher Avenue and North 27th Street intersection.

PURPOSE AND NEED

The purpose of this project is to construct a new off-street multi-use pedestrian/bike trail to extend the existing trail network and improve pedestrian safety. The project is needed as existing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure along Fletcher Avenue between North 14th Street and 27th Street is incomplete.

SCOPE OF WORK

The planned project would consist of constructing a new 10-foot wide by 5-inch thick concrete trail, reconstructing existing storm sewer pipes and inlets as needed, and relocating several street light poles. Existing utilities would be reconstructed or relocated as needed. The project would also include curb ramps that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards at the intersection of roadways. The trail would connect back to existing sidewalks adjacent to the project as well.

RIGHT-OF-WAY

The proposed projects would require the acquisition of additional property rights, which could include new right-of-way (ROW), control of access (CA), permanent easements (PE), and/or temporary easements (TE). If your property is impacted by this project, you will be contacted by a representative once the design footprint has been established. Access to adjacent properties would be maintained during construction but may be limited at times due to phasing requirements.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

The project would have minor impact to nearby wetlands. Impacts to wetlands would be permitted through the appropriate state and federal agency, and would be mitigated as necessary. No impacts are anticipated to the existing North 14th Street Trail, protected species, or cultural resources.

CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE

Construction could begin as early as fall 2023 with completion anticipated by spring 2024.

DETOUR:  A vehicular detour would not be required for this project, but the eastbound right turn lane of Fletcher Avenue approaching North 27th Street would be closed during construction of the trail adjacent to the turn lane. A pedestrian detour would be required during construction. The detour would reroute pedestrians at the southwest corner of the North 27th Street and Fletcher Avenue intersection to the existing sidewalk on the north side of Fletcher Avenue, west to the intersection of Telluride Drive and Fletcher Avenue, and then south across Fletcher Avenue.

PROJECT COST

The estimated cost of the proposed project is $1 million. Funding would be derived from federal and local funding sources.

Chris Beutler Trail

The Chris Beutler Trail will connect the north end of the Jamaica North Trail, which currently ends at 4th and J Streets, to the intersection of the Pinnacle Arena Trail and the N Street Cycle Track at approximately 6th and N Streets.  The Great Plains Trails Network has completed funding for this project and its construction is anticipated as part of Phase 1 of the South Haymarket Park development in 2024.

      

  

Trail Photos