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Due to recent prescribed fire activity, all trails at Neale Woods Nature Reserve will be closed through Sunday, March 3.

Due to recent prescribed fire activity, all trails at Neale Woods Nature Reserve will be closed through Sunday, March 3.

Fontenelle Forest reopens trails following July storm

An image of wetlands with a banner displaying the words "Wetlands Update Trails Now Open."If you’ve lived in Nebraska for a while, you know that Midwest weather can be, well, unpredictable to say the least. And wow – Mother Nature has really served us up some whoppers over the past few weeks!

Like most of Omaha and Bellevue, Fontenelle Forest received a lot of damage during the July 9th wind storm. Historic wind speeds caused hundreds of down trees and debris across much of our 2,100 acres. A portion of the Boardwalk was completely broken and needed structural repair. Luckily, we only lost power for a couple of days.

Our land stewardship team and other Forest staff, along with many volunteers, have worked diligently over the past few weeks to clear the down trees and debris and ensure trails were safe to reopen to the public.

Staff were not able to immediately access Neale Woods and the Wetlands, due to down trees and power lines blocking access roads leading to those properties. For that reason, it took a bit longer to access and clear those areas.

Between the July 9 wind storm, the storm that followed a week or two later, and the flooding last weekend, recovery efforts were not easy and it took some time to get all of our trails fully reopened.

However, we are happy to report that all trails, including all trails in the Wetlands, are now open! The only exception is Hickory Trail, which is closed until future notice.

A big thanks to all of our members and guests for being patient and understanding during the recovery process. We appreciate you!

And please remember that while we have cleared the trees off the trails, there could still be hazards. Look up, look down, look all around, and be aware that more branches or trees that were weakened during the storm could fall at any time.

That said, we encourage all our members and guests to get outside this weekend and hike to your heart’s content!

And remember, you can always find our most updated trail map on our website homepage at FontenelleForest.org. Happy hiking!


Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

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