As temperatures in Nebraska start to cool, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature on a hike. The Cornhusker State has plenty of beautiful trails, so what are you waiting for? Lace up your hiking boots and get out there!
1. Smith Falls State Park
This short, easy hike is accessible to anyone. Cross the old Verdigre bridge, cross a pretty, green meadow and complete your little hike at the 70-foot Smith Falls. If you're still up for more hiking, continue along the nature trail for another mile; it follows along the beautiful Niobrara River.
2. Olson Nature Preserve
This 112-acre preserve was donated by Grant and Bernice Olson and is one of Nebraska's hidden gems. Meander along on of the trails to see hardwood forest and wetlands. Beaver Creek is the perfect spot for wading on a hot, summer day.
3. Willow Creek State Park, Pierce
Take the eight-mile hike around the lake at Willow Creek State Recreation Area. The path is nice and flat and you'll see plenty of wildlife along the way.
4. Arbor Day Farm Treehouse Trail
This family-friendly little trail is the perfect way to get your gets outdoors for some summer fun! The nature trail is paved and includes tons of interactive displays.
5. Fontenelle Forest Trails
Fontenelle Forest offers several hiking trails. From the Riverview Boardwalk, which is handicapped-accessible, to the more challenging Ridge Top Oak Trail, there's a hike for everyone in this gorgeous place.
6. Saddle Rock Trail, Scotts Bluff National Monument
The Saddle Rock Trail at Scotts Bluff National Monument is strenuous, but well worth the effort. The 1.6-mile trail (one way) climbs 453 feet and rewards hikers with these views from the top.
7. Antelope Valley Trail, Lincoln
For some fun city hiking, take this trail from the University of Nebraska to Lincoln High School. The wide, paved trail is perfect for a leisurely walk or a fast-paced hike - your choice. The trail is 2.1 miles long.
8. Field Club Trail, Omaha
For more city hiking, take the 1.8-mile Field Club Trail in Omaha. This pretty, shaded pathway was once a rail line, and it's 30 feet below grade, so it feels secluded and offers some peaceful quiet.
9. Nature Trail, Platte River State Park
Spend a day exploring the nature trail at Platte River State Park. It's shady and level. Take your binoculars - this is a popular trail for birdwatching.
10. Buffalo Trail
This incomparably beautiful hike takes you from Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed to Toadstool Geologic Park - or the other way around. In 2015 USA Today named it one of the best trails in the US for a spring hike...but you should definitely try it at other times of the year, too. You can read more about the trail
11. Cowboy Trail
Although the Rails-to-Trails project currently runs 195 miles between Valentine and Norfolk, you don't have to hike the entire distance. Just hop on or off at your leisure and take in some of the beautiful sights along the way.