Things to Do - Outdoor Recreation - Hiking and Biking Trails
Omaha's trail system is appropriately called Paths of Discovery - each twist, each turn, winds through a different part of the city. Since 1990, more than 85 miles of paved, interconnected trails have been developed, creating a nature wonderland for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, skaters and cross-country skiers. The system is also accessible to people with disabilities.
The backbone of the ever-expanding trail system is the 24-mile long Keystone Trail, the longest and busiest trail in the metro area. It passes through parks, farmland, residential and industrial areas. It is paved and very flat except for its underpasses, which allow users to safely cross major intersections. The West Papio Trail may be the most scenic of all the trails. The concrete path winds along the West Papio Creek, through a number of neighborhoods, parks and recreation areas such as Zorinskly Lake. Zorinsky Lake itself offers more than seven miles of trails, plenty of picnic areas and is a great spot for boating, fishing and bird watching.
The 144th Street Trail stretches up and down hills following the grade of the street and connects to Standing Bear Lake, popular for fishing and for flying radio-controlled model airplanes.
The Big Papio Trail begins at Hefflinger Park, which offers a BMX bike track and a specially designed dog park featuring a five-acre "All Dogs Area" and a separate two-acre area for small dogs. The Big Papio also connects to Cancer Survivor's Park, specifically designed to be an inspirational retreat to promote the understanding of and the fight against cancer.
The Field Club Trail is a 1.72-mile inner-city trail along an abandoned railroad right-of-way, featuring railroad track cuts, ravines and foliage.
The Omaha Riverfront Trail is a key component to the city's trail system and connects some of the city's most popular parks, such as Heartland of America Park, Miller's Landing and NP Dodge Park. The centerpiece is the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. This one-of-a-kind suspension bridge spans over the Missouri River and connects nearly 150 miles of nature trails on both the Nebraska and Iowa sides of the river.
More than 105 miles of Metro Area Trail systems are marked for the safety of trail users. You'll find eight-inch round markers at each mile of the trail and five-inch markers every tenth of a mile.