Fontenelle Forest Alternate Trail Access
During our Nature Center closure (August 15-22, 2022), we want to highlight other ways visitors and members can access Fontenelle Forest’s trails! Check out these trailheads you can access from sunrise to sunset daily.
Daily admission for each of these locations can be paid online (via the links below), via the onsite iron rangers, or by calling 402-731-3140.
Address: 402 Forest Drive, Bellevue, NE 68005
Camp Wakonda is Fontenelle Forest’s southern-most entry point. This part of the Forest contains the original Bellevue Trading Post site, through which a section of History Trail travels. Gray Squirrel is our most challenging trail in this area – 1.9 miles of varied terrain and elevations! Signal Ridge is the least challenging until you reach the North access to the road, otherwise, it’s ideal for an out-and-back walk. Be sure to check out our habitat restorations along both Signal Ridge and History Trails!
Until 2019, Mid-America Council, Scouts BSA owned the campground part, when Fontenelle Forest acquired it. Camping in this area is prohibited with the exception of Scout groups.
Address: 103 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue, NE 68005
The Wetlands are the flattest trails and are a part of the Missouri River Floodplain. Sharing the 2,000-acre peninsula with Gifford Farm and NGPC Gifford Wildlife Management Area, the Wetlands offer a variety of plants, animals, and habitats to wander through. There is a 1/3 mile boardwalk to the observation blind at the Great Marsh, which is extremely low this year due to drought conditions. The northern half traverses over sand deposits from earlier floods and affords a view along the Missouri River on Missouri Trail.
In the early 1900s, this was the site of a Boy Scout Camp called Camp Gifford. While the name remains, there aren’t currently any campsites in this area.
Address: 14323 Edith Marie Avenue, Omaha, NE 68112
Fontenelle Forest’s northern-most property is Neale Woods. While you can see I-29 from Neale Trail near the old observatory, and hear airplanes, this is our most remote location. In general, Neale Woods trails are more rugged than those at Fontenelle Forest. There are a few shorter loops, such as Gifford, to Wagon, to Raccoon Hollow and back up Neale Trail. All of the openings at Neale Woods have had extensive prairie restoration and reconstruction work and are in varying phases of restoration. Neal Woods contains the majority of our prairie reconstructions. We have used periodic prescribed fire, thinning, and invasive plant management to increase the diversity of life in our openings, and enlarge the prairie reconstructions.
Get full details about these closures here:
For questions or more information, contact Visitors Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-731-3140.