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"Gate City"
"Quiet place above all others upon a stream*"

Omaha Parks

From the early days of Omaha's history, we have set aside special areas as our parks.  We have some beautiful parks for just about any occasion.  Downtown has Heartland of America Park, with a beautiful water jet and light show in its lake.

Memorial Park, honoring soldiers killed in W.W.II, the Korean War, and Vietnam, is right on Dodge (55th) and cannot be easily missed.  The park is favored for kite flying, sunning, and sledding.  You will get a different perspective if you drive into the park (from Cass St.).

To the west of town, we have parks with lakes for sailing, boating, and fishing.  Standing Bear Lake, Glen Cunningham Lake, Zorinsky Lake, and Wehrspann Lake all have hiking, and biking trails, perfect for bird watching or to get your exercise.

Near the airport is Freedom Park and Museum, right on the Missouri River.  See the U.S.S. Hazard Minesweeper and the U.S.S. Marlin submarine there along with additional displays.

Near Florence, we have Miller Park with a beautiful lake, picnic tables, walks, and recreational areas.

Traveling along John J. Pershing Drive to the extreme north part of Omaha, we have N. P. Dodge Memorial Park (11001 John J. Pershing Drive., Omaha, NE (Google Maps and Satellite maps logo)) a large park for sports, covered pavilions with grills, and other common park activities, right next to the Missouri, just north of the Mormon Bridge.  Across the road and slightly north is Hummel Park (11808 John J. Pershing Drive., Omaha, NE (Google Maps and Satellite maps logo)) with many roads and trails in a more hilly setting.

 

Continuing north on John J. Pershing Drive, then North River Drive will get you to  Neale Woods Nature Center (14323 Edith Marie Ave., Omaha, NE (Google Maps and Satellite maps logo)), which has great trails and a wonderful visitor's center featuring similar exhibits as their sister association, the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center   (1111 N. Bellevue Ave., Omaha, NE (Google Maps and Satellite maps logo))  in Bellevue.

Take your camera to the Mt. Vernon Gardens Park (between Bellevue and Omaha) overlooking the Missouri, a site that also sidetracked the Lewis and Clark expedition for the view.  It is a half-size scaled version of Mt. Vernon on the Potomac.

Hanscom Park is near Park Avenue and Martha Streets.  The 38th President of the US, President Gerald R. Ford was born (as Leslie Lynch King) just across the northwest corner of the park.  The birthplace is a visitor's site itself.

Trails

Also falling into the park category is our hiking and biking trails that crisscross most of Douglas county, parts of Sarpy County, to the south, and across the Missouri River to parts of Pottawattamie County.  The trail network extends to almost all of our outlying lakes, and continue around the entire lake.

One of the most popular trails is the North-South trail around 77th St. that extends from Dodge Street to way North and way South, more than you really wanted to jog. 

The paved trails are limited to joggers, skaters, hikers, and un-motorized vehicles but wide enough for the maintenance truck making for easy upkeep.. The trails are safe, clean, and there are several places that have easy access from nearby places to park your car.  Attach your bike rack to the back, throw the rollerblades in the trunk, thick cotton socks and jogging shoes beside them and you should be ready for some scenic exercise at a moments notice.

Several of the county's parks have additional information at the Omaha Parks and Recreation, Douglas County Parks and Recreation web pages, and the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.

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