Walking our trails is an experience unlike any other in the Omaha metro area. Fontenelle Forest owns and manages 2,000 acres of conservation land and 26 miles of marked trails within Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in Bellevue and Neale Woods in Omaha. These unique areas have been protected since 1913 and are home to many species of plants and animals. Trails of varying lengths and grades allow people of all ages and experience levels to enjoy the beauty of nature. Our one-mile Riverview Boardwalk and Gifford Memorial Boardwalk offer even paths for stroller and wheelchair access.
As you hike our trails, you will encounter ecosystems such as deciduous forest, oak savanna, prairie and wetlands. Although it is common to hike during the warmer months, the trails offer unique sightings during every season. In fact, winter and early spring are ideal times for wildlife sightings due to the reduced forest foliage. To learn more about what you may see and hear, please explore NatureSearch, our online guide to all living things in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods.
Please note that non-members are required to pay admission prior to visiting any property owned by Fontenelle Forest.
- Wear shoes with good support
- Dress in layers appropriate for the weather
- Bring binoculars and a camera
- Mark your turns on your free trail map if you are unfamiliar with the trails
- Don't forget to carry water! You may buy a bottle for water at The Gift Shop at Fontenelle Forest, or refill your own bottle at our drinking fountains. Neale Woods' facility is only open seasonally, so you need to bring water from home during off-seasons
- Make sure that you read and understand all of the trail policies listed below
Please help us protect the integrity of our land for future generations!
- Trails are open dawn to dusk for visitors who enter before 5 p.m. and FF members with a Keyless Access FOB. Keyless Access Fobs are issued by request during business hours at Visitor Services and require a refundable $10 deposit. If you want to experience the forest at night, we periodically offer guided night hikes - check the calendar for upcoming programs.
- Trails are for hiking, nature watching, photography and snowshoeing. To minimize trail erosion and disruption to wildlife - camping, running, jogging, cycling and skiing are not allowed. Hunting and fishing are not allowed.
- To minimize disturbance to local fauna, pets are not allowed, except for registered service animals that are required to assist visitors who have special needs.
- Please “leave no trace.” We ask that you carry your trash out with you and that you stay on designated trails and boardwalks at all times. Geocaching is not allowed.
- Collecting/taking items out of the Forest is not allowed. This includes leaves, feathers, insects, flowers, snails, plants, etc. This also includes mushroom gathering.
- Because our land is highly flammable and too valuable to risk, all properties (including parking lots) are tobacco-free.
We would be happy to answer any questions you have about our policies. Please