WETLANDS CLOSURE UPDATE: Hidden Lake and Redbud trails are closed. All other Wetland trails are now open.
Click here to see current trail closures.
WETLANDS CLOSURE UPDATE: Hidden Lake and Redbud trails are closed. All other Wetland trails are now open.
Click here to see current trail closures.

Hours of Operation & Admissions

The Fontenelle Forest Nature Center is open daily, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Raptor Woodland Refuge is open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Summer Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day
– Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
– Weekends, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Our trails are open sunrise to sunset (or posted by location where gate access is required). In areas where gate access is required, hours are posted at each location. Fontenelle Forest Nature Center gate hours are listed above.

Member fob gate access hours change monthly based on sunrise/sunset and can be seen by checking the red “alerts” button on our Home Page. Learn more about member fobs below.

Holiday Closures: Fontenelle Forest is open year-round with the following exceptions. The Fontenelle Forest Nature Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

General Admission

$11 per adult
$10 per senior (62+)
$8 per child (2-17)
Free for children under age 2
Free for members
(sales tax included)

Purchase admission online. Click here

Fontenelle Forest Members

Admission is Free for Fontenelle Forest Members

Not a Member? Become one today!

COVID-19 Guidelines

We want everyone to enjoy their experience at the Forest! Before visiting, read our COVID-19 guidelines so you know what to expect.

READ OUR COVID-19 GUIDELINES

Additional information:

  • Read our Trail Guidelines.
  • Fontenelle Forest has a no-pet policy. 
  • Parking is free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please pay your admission and pick up a trail map at the Visitor Services desk.
  • Fontenelle Forest Closure Policy for Inclement Weather: All of Fontenelle Forest property closures due to inclement weather will be announced via Facebook and our website homepage.
  • Fontenelle Forest’s properties are tobacco-free.
  • Items available to rent or check out from Visitor Services:
    — Binoculars – $5 for 2 hours
    — Snowshoes (seasonally) – $5 for 1 hour (limited availability, based on a first-come, first-serve basis). We encourage call-ahead reservations to ensure availability. Call 402-731-3140.
    Free Rentals: power scooters, wheelchair, strollers (limited availability, based on a first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Holiday Closures: Fontenelle Forest is open year-round with the following exceptions. The Fontenelle Forest Nature Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Member fobs: What is a fob and how do I get one?
Keyless fob access is available for members, which provides access to the trails before and after regular business hours. Fobs are available for purchase by members only for a minimal one-time fee and can be requested during regular business hours at our Visitor Services desk or by calling 402-731-3140. Fob gate access hours change monthly based on sunrise/sunset and can be seen by checking the red “alerts” button on our Home Page.

 

 

Maps

Fontenelle Forest

Trail map of all trails at Fontenelle Forest, with parking, and highlighted directions.

Neale woods

Map of Neale Woods trails and location in comparison to Fontenelle Forest.

Wetlands

Fontenelle Forest trail map including the Wetlands area.

trail guidelines

Trail guidelines and rules of the forest.

Daily Experiences

Calendar

View our calendar for Fontenelle’s wide range of upcoming programs and events for all ages.

Raptor Woodland Refuge

Thirty feet above the forest floor, this canopy-level exhibit is designed according to the natural habitat of the rescued birds housed within these mews. Each visit is its own unique adventure, story, and memory to share.

Habitat Hollow

Habitat Hollow is an indoor, nature-based play area where children learn about animals on display and make nature discoveries as they explore the Hollow. Habitat Hollow also features make n’ take, nature coloring, and baby birder stations – and several other activities.

Acorn Acres

Acorn Acres is a one-acre natural playscape in the Forest, providing children a unique opportunity to explore the outdoors through unstructured play in a natural setting.

Baright Gallery

Every season, our Baright Gallery hosts a new art show of local or national artists. These exhibits bring the human relationship with nature to the forefront of their art.

Digital Displays

Kids can play education matching games, families can learn about the history of the Forest, and anyone can learn more about the birds of prey who live outside in our Raptor Woodland Refuge on our touch-screens.

Stroll the Boardwalk

Enjoy a leisurely stroll while observing wildlife, the changing seasons, and beautiful views of the Missouri River on our mile-long, ADA-accessible boardwalk and 1/3-mile wetlands boardwalk.

Recommended Hikes

Walking our trails is an experience unlike any other in the Omaha metro area. In a single afternoon, you’ll encounter a range of vastly different ecosystems, from deciduous forest to oak savanna, prairie, and wetlands.

adventure park Opening at Fontenelle Forest

Fontenelle Forest is welcoming the Adventure Development Team, a national company, to build a ropes course over six acres near Fontenelle Forest’s Nature Center in Bellevue. The course should be open this summer (2019) and will support Fontenelle Forest’s vision of offering more outdoor experiences to the local community.
Read FAQs about the Adventure Park here

Regularly Scheduled Programs

Children and Families

  • Camps — We are excited to offer another year of amazing camp experiences at Fontenelle Forest. Through games, activities and exploration, we will provide the framework for a life-long love for the natural world. Learn More!
  • Mud Pies – Every Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Looking for a unique setting in which to have fun with your child while learning about the natural world? Mudpies is a structured program for children ages 3-5 that encourages exploration of nature and interaction between a child and their caregiver. Each week, a natural science theme is explored through crafts, outdoor exploration, songs, stories, hikes and more! Each session will feature a different craft or activity, along with storytime and a guided hike. Come discover the joy of sharing nature with your child! One adult is required for every two children. Mud Pies is $5 per child plus daily admission for accompanying non-member adults. Learn More!
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Adults and Seniors

  • Group Hikes – We feature various group hikes on different topics from birding, to winter constellation viewing, to our popular full moon hikes.
  • Seniors Understanding Nature –Many seniors grew up in a time when nature was a big part of everyday life. Our Seniors Understanding Nature programs enhance that experience. This program is held at the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. An indoor program on a different Forest-inspired history or nature topic is featured, followed by an optional nature walk. Refreshments will be available. This program is free for members or with daily admission.
  • Join the Fontenelle Forest Guild
  • Volunteer with us
See All Upcoming Events

FAQs

Hours

Nature Center Hours:
Open daily, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Raptor Woodland Refuge:
Open daily, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Summer Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day
– Weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
– Weekends, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

*Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve,
Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Prices

$11 per adult
$10 per senior (62+)
$8 per child (2-17)
Free for children under age 2
Free for members
(sales tax included)

Fobs

Keyless access fobs are available for purchase by members during business hours at Visitor Services for a one-time fee of $15. This means you can access the trails when the Nature Center is closed (from dawn to dusk).

•Please check the alerts on the Home Page for updated member gate hours.

Rentals

Rent binoculars, power scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, or snowshoes (seasonally) from Visitor Services.

Snow Closure Policy

If there is a snow closure, we will post it on Facebook and our website. For a full list of closures and program updates, go to fontenelleforest.org and check the “alerts” section.

What is a Raptor?

Birds of prey, such as eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and vultures, have a vital role in our ecosystem. Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Program is focused on the conservation of these birds through statewide education, both on and off-site, including in our Raptor Woodland Refuge.


Awards and Recognition

2022

  • 2022 Friend of the Environment Nonprofit Award
  • 2022 Omaha Metropolitan Area (OMA) Tourism Award
    – Best Attraction in Sarpy County
  • 2022 Best of Omaha – Children’s Attraction
  • 2022 Greater Omaha Chamber Business Excellence Award
    – Philanthropy
  • 2022 The Reader’s Best of the Big O!
    – Best Tourist Attraction

2021

  • 2021 Best of Omaha – Children’s Attraction
  • 2021 Best of Bellevue – Best Scenic Spot
  • 2021 Best of Bellevue – Best Non-profit
  • 2020 Sarpy County People’s Choice
    – Best Family/Entertainment/Attraction
    – Best Wedding Reception Venue
  • Nebraska Tourism Outstanding Ecotourism Entity Award
  • Green Bellevue Environment Champion Award
  • 2021 Omaha’s Choice Awards – Family Attraction

2020

  • 2021 Best of Omaha – Children’s Attraction
  • 2020 Best of Bellevue – Best Scenic Spot
  • 2020 Best of Bellevue – Best Non-profit
  • 2020 Sarpy County People’s Choice
    – Best Family/Entertainment/Attraction
    – Best Wedding Reception Venue

2019

  • 2019 Best of Bellevue – Best Scenic Spot
  • 2019 Best of Omaha – Children’s Attraction
  • 2019 Sarpy County People’s Choice
    – Best Family/Entertainment/Attraction
    – Best Wedding Reception Venue

 

2018

  • 2018 Nonprofit of the Year
    – Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce

 

 


Trail Guidelines

At Fontenelle Forest, we take all reasonable measures to keep our members and guests safe, while using our trails.
However, as with any outdoor activity, hiking is at your own risk. We ask that you use your best judgment regarding weather conditions and wear appropriate hiking gear. 

  • No dogs allowed. Pets and horses are not permitted.
  • Trails may be slick or icy during and/or following conditions of rain, snow, frost, or other types of inclement weather.
  • Always wear appropriate gear, such as traction devices for your shoes/boots.
  • Stay on the trails.
  • Carry your trash out with you.
  • No collecting or picking of any sort is allowed. Leave all plants and animals undisturbed for others to enjoy.
  • Respect all trail signage and temporary closures.
  • No smoking or fires are allowed.
  • Camping, jogging, and bicycling are not permitted. No motorized vehicles are permitted beyond the parking lots except for disabled persons’ access.
  • Use caution when crossing the railroad tracks, which remain in active use. Do not walk on the tracks.
  • Picnic only in the areas designated for that purpose.
  • Hunting, fishing, and musical equipment are not allowed, except with prior permission.

Trail updates and temporary closures can occur at any time due to ongoing maintenance, inclement weather, or damage to trees and other structures. Please always request an updated map at our Visitor Services desk or download the most current map on our homepage. Most importantly, always respect all trail signage and closures.

 

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

Make a tax deductible donation NOW

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