Hiking is such a great way to get some exercise while enjoying nature. There’s something so relaxing about walking and just concentrating on the way the ground moves beneath your feet. A lot of people are scared off of the idea of hiking by the notion that it’s only for very fit people. These trails are short enough for just about anyone to handle; some are more challenging than others, but none require you to be a seasoned hiker. Just lace up your shoes and hit that trail.
1. Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, Nebraska City
You'll have to pay an admission fee to access the Tree Adventure trail, but it's definitely worth it - especially if you have kids. The first part of the trail is full of creative play stations, including some very fun musical instruments. Take the short trail and you'll cover around three miles round-trip. (The longer trail is also great if you've got the time and energy.)
2. Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue
You don't have to go on a rough hike through the woods to enjoy this incredibly scenic place. The wheelchair accessible boardwalk offers an easy one-mile trip that will take you to some amazing views.
3. Saddle Rock Trail, Scotts Bluff National Monument
This trail is a bit tougher than the others because you're actually climbing upward. The 1.6 mile trail gets a little steep in places, but it's so rewarding when you see the incredible views from the top. If you only want to hike one way, the Summit Shuttle can take you either up or down for free.
4. Toadstool Geologic Park, near Harrison
If you're in for a short but sweet overview of this wondrous part of Nebraska, you can choose the wheelchair accessible, 0.3-mile trail that skirts the rock formations.
5. Antelope Valley Trail, Lincoln
This beautiful 2.1 mile trail runs through downtown Lincoln between the Bob Devaney Center on the UNL campus and Lincoln High School. The trail is paved and passes through the impressive Union Park Plaza, making it great for a leisurely day out with kids.
6. Field Club Trail, Omaha
This two-mile paved trail passes through some of Omaha's scenic historic neighborhoods. Beginning near UNMC at 40th and Leavenworth, the trail leads through Harrison Heights and ends at the grain silos near 35th and Vinton.
7. Niobrara Trail, Niobrara
The Niobrara State Park trail system is extensive and covers more than 14 miles overall, but the 2.1-mile section which passes over the old railroad trestle is wheelchair accessible. It boasts some unbelievable views of the Niobrara River.
8. Plum Creek Trail, Seward
This beautiful trail follows the route of Plum Creek and passes through a variety of settings. The three-mile paved route starts in Plum Creek Park and runs through the park, under Highway 34, and ends on S. Columbia Road.
9. Two Lakes Trail, Columbus
This beautiful paved trail spans 2.4 miles starting at 48th Avenue where it crosses the Loup Canal and ending at Lakeview Road at 18th Ave. The trail passes through or by several parks and wooded areas, making for a spectacularly scenic stroll.
10. Dannebrog Hike & Bike Trail, Dannebrog
Come for the delicious baked goods at the Danish Bakery, then stay in Dannebrog long enough to work off those calories. The paved three-mile trail encircles the entire town, so you can see just about everything there is to see while you enjoy the fresh air.
This selection of short trails is far from being exhaustive. Nebraska has endless miles of trails, many of which are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Add your favorite short hike to the list in the comments!