6 Of The Best Hiking Trails In Nebraska

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Hiking offers some of the most compelling and immersive ways to experience nature, and Nebraska offers many such opportunities. As an avid hiker, I enjoy the workout and challenge myself a little more every time. Nebraska offers something for every hiker; whether you’re a beginner or seasoned hiker – you’ll come to enjoy every one of your steps!

Hiking trails in Nebraska are suited to beginners, seasoned and expert hikers. Standing Bear Lake Loop, Indian Cave Trail, and Sagebrush Hills are great trails. Landscapes include dense forests, woodlands, rocky climbs, icy spots, while you can see exciting animals like ducks, coyotes, and rabbits.

You may be thinking of planning a refreshing hike outside, so you’ll undoubtedly find a lot of value in learning about the characteristics of Nebraska’s most incredible hikes. Let’s take a look at which treks would suit the hiking desires of your heart so that you can have a truly invaluable experience!  

Hiking In Nebraska

Nebraska hiking trails have varying landscapes and interconnecting trails that make them particularly exciting. Most of the trails have areas where you can enjoy picnics, and there are restroom areas along the way, too. Additionally, you’re allowed to bring your dogs along, too, provided they remain on their leashes for safety reasons.

The trails go up to 6 miles and can take around 2 hours and 41 minutes to complete, depending on which adventure you choose. You are also free to enjoy some cycling or jogging, but remember that Nebraska trails may often be icy or snow, so watch your step.   

Families will enjoy Standing Bear Lake Loop in Standing Bear Lake Park. The walks are mainly flat with a few inclines. Apart from hiking, there are cycling, boating, and picnicking opportunities. You can also expect to discover a lot of different animals around the lake area, such as deer, rabbits, ducks, and geese. 

Those who seek a little more adventure will find their thrill with Indian Cave Trail in Indian Cave State Park. There’s a healthy amount of rolling hills, very steep inclines and descents, and interconnecting paths that drastically alter the length of the hike for a truly endurance-testing experience. You can be sure to get a terrific workout!

Particularly enthusiastic hikers can enjoy Sagebrush Hills in Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area. This nearly 3-hour trail has steep sloping dirt roads privy to natural tall grasses, valleys, and creekbeds that make for a great challenge. You can also expect to see a myriad of wildlife, such as coyotes, hawks, rabbits, lizards, and snakes.

Nebraska Hiking Trails For The Whole Family

Whether you’re planning an exciting family trip or you’ve yet to have your first hike, Nebraska can provide an unforgettable experience; they’re excellent for all ages! There are beautiful lakes and wildflowers to see, exciting landscapes to traverse, and bridges to cross – all while catching glimpses of animals in their natural habitat?

Standing Bear Lake Loop, Standing Bear Lake Park

Standing Bear Lake Loop is a 3-mile moderately trafficked loop path with a lake suitable for all ability levels and exists in Omaha, Nebraska. The route is all year and provides a variety of activities. This route is also accessible to dogs, although they must be on a leash. It takes an hour and 19 minutes on average to finish. Standing

Bear Lake is named after the Ponca Chief Standing Bear and exists in northwest Omaha. The city of Omaha is in charge of the park. Picnicking, no-wake boating, hiking and bicycle paths, environmental research possibilities, and fishing are all available at the day-use-only site.

The route is paved and has partial rails at least 5 feet wide. A floating bridge on the west side of the lake allows you to complete the circle without crossing the road. By the southwest end of the route, there are two designated accessible parking spaces in the paved parking lot off of Park Road.

The path gets a good amount of sun, but there is occasional shade as you make your way. Small, intriguing walkways are strewn along the course, leading through trails and lush flora. The route includes a paved walkway, and the lakeside bridge boasts gorgeous wildflowers and the beautiful chippering of birds.

You can also expect to see many people strolling, kids riding bikes, individuals walking dogs, and people running. However, you will have enough opportunity to enjoy nature without being swamped by a constant flow of bypassers.

Walnut Creek Lake Trail West, Walnut Creek Recreational Area

Walnut Creek Lake Path West is a 3.3-mile moderately trafficked circle trail with a lake suitable for all skill levels in Papillion, Nebraska. The route is available year-round and provides a variety of activities. This route is also available to dogs; however, they must be on a leash at all times.

Walnut Creek Lake is a great place to hike, cycle, fish, RV park, or have a picnic. The Walnut Creek Lake Trail has a fantastic concrete surface that makes for a pleasant ride. In certain regions, there are a few moderately steep hills. It takes around 1 hour and 26 minutes to finish the path.

The paved parking area off Gold Coast Road at the trail’s east terminus has four designated accessible spaces. They’re all van-accessible and have striped access aisles.

Trail users with wheelchairs, mobility equipment, or strollers will likely require assistance to avoid the steeper areas. A wheelchair-accessible fishing pier with level access is available. There are also great little picnic tables along the trail for relaxing.

This path is ideal for getting out of the house and moving after a long winter. The route has ducks and geese all along the way, and the north bank of Walnut Creek offers lovely nature trails that go through woodland and grassland areas.

There are also several great shelters to have a good meal or if you find yourself caught in an unexpected downpour. You’ll also notice a gazebo on the lake with a bridge linking it to the main route, as well as a scenic lake and ponds, excellent fish cover, and a beautiful boat ramp.

Nebraska Hiking Trails For The Intermediate Hiker

If you’re an experienced hiker craving something more challenging, Nebraska does not disappoint! You’ll have the opportunity to explore varying landscapes, elevation changes, and interconnecting pathways that let you choose your adventure. You’ll certainly work up a good sweat and come out the other side feeling satisfied and recharged!

Indian Cave Trail, Indian Cave State Park

Indian Cave Path is a moderately frequented 3.1-mile out and back trail in Falls City, Nebraska. The route is accessible year-round and provides various activities. Your canine pals are welcome to attend as long as they are on a leash. It takes around 1 hour and 31 minutes to finish the path.

With steep bluffs and undulating hills filled in wood and little meadows, Indian Cave SP borders the Missouri River. Trails lengths range from half a mile to seven miles. Hikers may trek for miles without going from trailhead to trailhead since many interconnected paths exist.

There are nine Adirondack shelters with fire rings, and primitive tent camping is allowed along hiking paths throughout the park. There are group campsites available, as well as a horseback rider campground if you’re feeling very daring! Horseback riding takes place on a 131/2-mile path.

Supervised horseback rides are provided Friday through Sunday during the summer and fall weekends. It’s worth it to wear hiking boots on this walk because it may be muddy in certain areas.

You could also love the undulating hills, which provide just the perfect amount of difficulty with their up-and-down height fluctuations. Furthermore, this path offers plenty of opportunities to immerse oneself in nature thoroughly, as well as some picnic areas along the way in case you want to eat something.

Lover’s Leap Butte Via Red Cloud Buttes, Fort Robinson

Lover’s Leap Butte through East Red Cloud Buttes is a fairly challenging 6.2-mile out and back path near Crawford, Nebraska. It boasts a beautiful woodland backdrop that hardly receives moderate traffic.

The trail is best utilized from May to October and is generally used for hiking and walking. This route is also open to dogs, but they must be on a leash. It takes around 3 hours and 17 minutes to finish this path.

This track will put your stamina to the test with its numerous high climbs, inclines, and descents. Aside from that, it’s a gorgeous trail with lots of healthy trees and stunning rock outcroppings. In the rain, though, it may get rather muddy.

This trail’s layout and scenery make it suitable for equestrian riding and mountain biking. At the conclusion of the route, you’ll be rock scrambling your way to the summit of a rock – keep an eye on your step! The views from the summit are stunningly magnificent and photo-worthy. Remember to bring a picnic that you can enjoy when you’re at the top.

Nebraska Hiking Trails For The Born Mountaineer

As an expert hiker, you probably desire a challenging, immersive, and rewarding experience, and Nebraska can provide all of the above. Nebraska’s toughest trails include overgrown areas, icy patches, elevation changes, rolling hills, tall grass, and more.

Sagebrush Hills, Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area

Sagebrush Hills is a strenuous 6-mile out-and-back path in Enders, Nebraska, with lovely wildflowers. Dogs are welcome on the trail, which is excellent for hiking, walking, jogging, and mountain biking. It takes around 2 hours and 47 minutes to finish the path. Sagebrush Hills is a sloping dirt road in a state wildlife management area across the native prairie.

Sagebrush, yucca, cactus, and natural grasses fill the slopes surrounding the path, with cottonwood stands bordering the valleys and creekbeds. Throughout the year, hawks, geese, ducks, deer, coyotes, and rabbits, as well as the rare snake and lizard, can be found.

The surface is a pleasant, well-kept dirt road with an odd double track. It is well-packed most of the year, but it may get washed out, muddy, and snowy, so bring your good hiking boots and your water because there is very little shade.

The track offers stunning vistas as well as shockingly steep slopes and descents that will undoubtedly have your pulse racing.

Neale Woods Nature Center Trails, Neale Woods

Neale Woods Nature Center Trails is a 3.2-mile moderately trafficked circular route near Omaha, Nebraska, regarded as strenuous and gives the opportunity to watch animals. The trail is best utilized from March to November and is fantastic for hiking, walking, nature visits, and bird viewing. This path takes around 1 hour and 41 minutes to complete.

This path is unusual in that the level of difficulty varies depending on how hard you push yourself. Furthermore, the routes are broad and well-marked, making it difficult to get lost. Thus, don’t be surprised to see a good amount of snow! It may be a good idea to carry some picks with you during the winter months because it may get rather icy.

You will be pleasantly surprised to see deer along the trail, and there is enough landscape variety to ensure you won’t quickly become bored. If you visit during fall, you can enjoy beautifully-colored leaves that decorate the pathway.

There are also some lovely rolling hills, lovely spring forest flowers, and calm bird chippering. You’ll also encounter lush grass, deep woodland, and rocky terrain on your journey.

The route is well-kept despite the dense forest. Take Settlers Trail down into a magnificent ravine, which connects with a bridge by a few fallen trees that rest above the trail. It may take some effort to climb in and out, but it will be an unforgettable experience!


Beginners or family hikers will enjoy Standing Bear Lake Loop in Standing Bear Lake Park due to its focus on leisure activities. Intermediates and Expert hikes can test their endurance and gain a fantastic workout from trails like Indian Cave Trail in Indian Cave State Park and Sagebrush Hills in Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area.