Top Things for Active Travelers to Do in Omaha
1. Explore Fontanelle Forest
Adventurers can climb, zip and soar through the tree canopy on an aerial course. Rehabbed eagles and owls enjoy their digs at the raptor refuge, while 19 miles of trails wind through the urban forest.
2. Walk, Jog and Bike Over Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Named for a former Nebraska senator, this curved cable bridge connects Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Walkers, runners and bikers get stunning views of the downtown skyline and the Missouri River that flows 60 feet beneath (bring your camera for a photo op). If the 3,000 feet across aren't enough for you, the bridge also links to 150 miles of trails on dry land.
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3. Fish, Splash and Hike at Zorinsky Lake Park
This West Omaha green space has tree-lined, paved walking-biking trails, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and a lake begging for boating and fishing. Admission's free to this year-round park. In the summer, splash in the aquatic center's spray features, water slide and large public pool.
4. Roam Around Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
You'll get plenty of walking in at this 160-acre top-rated zoo, home to the world's largest indoor desert and nocturnal exhibits, plus the country's largest indoor rainforest. The $73 million African Grasslands exhibit minimizes barriers so visitors feel immersed in that habitat.
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5. Learn about Nature at Schramm Park State Recreation Area
Come to enjoy the Platte River views and 3-mile nature trail at this day-use park 30 miles southwest of downtown. The Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium pays tribute to the site's life as an 1880s fish hatchery with short films, a terrarium, and 12 viewing tanks stocked with native and introduced species of fish.
6. Float With Driftwood Paddle Adventures
Glide along Zorinksy or Standing Bear lake on a stand-up paddleboard excursion. Guides make even first-time paddleboarders feel at ease. Look for wildlife, such as ducks, cranes and muskrats, in the grass-lined channels.
7. Play Your Way at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
Just southwest of Omaha in Ashland, these 690 acres of fun outdoor recreation are open all year. In summer, swim, golf, play tennis, fish, hike or boat. In winter, check out the cross-country skiing trails and toboggan runs, or whirl around the ice skating rink. Camping facilities and a motel-style lodge provide overnight options.
8. Smell the Roses at Lauritzen Gardens
Two miles of paths wind through gardens along the Missouri River; tropical and temperate plants thrive in the 17,500-square-foot conservatory.
9. Zip the Platte River on Bryson's Airboat Tours
Zip up the Platte River at up to 40 mph, stopping to watch eaglets on nests or to explore a sandbar. In Fremont, 30 miles northwest of Omaha.