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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.

National Take a Hike Day is Nov 17

a path in the woods–By Michelle Foss, Director of Land Stewardship and Research

What better day to take a hike than on National Take a Hike Day, November 17!

At Fontenelle Forest, hiking is an integral part of the experience we offer. With 2,100 acres of land and 24 miles of maintained trails, there are unlimited opportunities to explore and discover many different areas and ecosystems throughout the Forest.

One of my favorite places to hike is at Neale Woods. There are several loop-making options to change the length and difficulty of the hike. You can see various stages of restoration work on Settlers Trail and Gifford Trail, or experience different phases of prairie reconstruction on Hilltop Trail (approximately 5 years) vs. Neale Trail (only 2 years).

If you only have a short amount of time, there are several short loops right by the Nature Center, as well as a short loop from our Camp Logan parking area on Bladdernut Trail. Both are located right here in Bellevue.

Can’t make it to the Forest today? Take a hike in a neighborhood park! Or, share favorite hikes with others who may be venturing out. Even if you can’t hit the trails today, I encourage you to find a new trail to hike in the near future. Or, maybe approach an old favorite in a new way.

November is a great time to see changes in nature. Sometimes (like this year) we are even lucky enough to have some unseasonably warm weather in which to do it.

Keep in mind that November is also one of our prescribed burn times, where the fuel and weather team up to promote fire’s role in recycling nutrients and fighting invasive plants. If we’re burning where you prefer to hike, check out a new trail! Even with current trail closures and prescribed fire closures, we have plenty to offer. We always announce any prescribed fires via Facebook and our website home page.

Once you’ve found your favorite trail, seek out new ones. It’s hard to be disappointed when you’re on a new adventure, searching for little discoveries along the way.

How will you celebrate National Take a Hike Day? Whatever you do, Happy Hiking!

You can find our trail maps by clicking the button below and scrolling to “Maps.”

Get a trail map

a path on a hillside with a sign post made out of wood on a clear day. Two people walking on the boardwalk in the woods. A picture of the Fontennelle Forest boardwalk through woods in the fall.

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