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.

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.

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.


Additional information:

  • Read our Trail Guidelines.
  • 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.
  • Fontenelle Forest has a no-pet policy. 
  • Items available to rent or check out from Visitor Services:
    — Binoculars – $5 for 2 hours
    — Snowshoes (seasonally) – $5 for 2 hours (limited availability, based on a first-come, first-serve basis). We encourage call-ahead reservations to ensure availability. Call 402-731-3140.
    Family Backpack Program – $10 for 2 hours (Learn more about this educational backpack program here.)
    Free Rentals: power scooters, wheelchair, strollers (limited availability, based on a first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Fontenelle Forest is closed 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 one-time fee of $15, 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.


Fontenelle Forest

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

Neale woods

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


Fontenelle Forest trail map including the Wetlands area.

trail guidelines

Trail guidelines and rules of the forest.

Daily Experiences


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

At Habitat Hollow, children learn about animals on display and play nature games. Animal costumes for kids and a puppet show area ensure families can have a great time regardless of weather.

Acorn Acres

Acorn Acres is a one-acre natural playscape in the Forest, which offers children a unique place for unstructured play and outdoor learning and a chance to be delightfully boisterous, physically active, and wonderfully creative.

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


  • Family Backpack Program – Explore the Forest in a new and exciting way through our Family Backpack Program! Our educational backpack contains guides, activities, and tools that will inspire your family to interact with the natural world and make exciting discoveries in the Forest. Two themes are available: hiking or birding. Learn More!
  • Mud Pies/Wild Summer Days – Looking for a unique setting in which to have fun with your child while learning about the natural world? Mud Pies is a relaxed, drop-in-and-play program that encourages interaction between adult and child. Each week, a natural science topic is explored through station-based activities, free play, and a guided walk (dependent on weather and staff availability). Come discover the joy of sharing nature with your child! Mud Pies meets every Monday-Thursday from 9:30-11:30 am at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. This program is for children ages 5 and younger accompanied by an adult. In the summer, the program expands to ages 0-11 and becomes Wild Summer Days! One adult is required for every two children. Mud Pies is $3 per child for members or $5 per child with daily admission. A Mud Pies membership is available for $100 per year. This provides access to Mud Pies and Wild Summer Days for all children in a household for an entire year.
Get a One-Year Membership to Mud Pies Here


  • Camps — We are excited to offer another summer of amazing experiences here at Fontenelle Forest. Through games, activities and time to explore, we will provide the framework for a life-long love for the natural world. Learn More!
  • Science through Nature — Fontenelle Forest’s Science through Nature discovery program introduces students to a different natural science topic each month. The content is matched to the Next Generation Science Standards and focuses on interaction and inquiry. This program is the perfect way for children to connect with nature at an early age. Learn more about Science through Nature on our educational programs page.



  • Group Hikes  — We have monthly hikes on different topics from the history of the Forest to birding on the boardwalk. Check our calendar for updated hikes and more information.
  • Seniors Understanding Nature — Many seniors grew up in a time when nature was a big part of everyday life; SUN (Seniors Understanding Nature) programs enhance that experience. Join us at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center on the second Tuesday of each month from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Refreshments served at 9:45 a.m., followed by an indoor program, and completed with an optional nature walk.
  • Clubs
  • Volunteer with us



8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily

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


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


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.


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.

Managed Hunt

Learn more about the managed hunt at Fontenelle Forest. This is necessary due to a lack of large predators for a healthier forest.

Photo Policy

Photos are encouraged at the Forest. If you have a professional photoshoot, our ‘sitting fee’ is $125 for non-members and $100 for members.
 If you are sitting for a photoshoot (ex. graduation photos, engagement photos, etc.), this fee applies to you. If you are simply bringing a  camera to photograph wildlife, there is no fee.

Commercial photography will not be allowed in any part of Fontenelle Forest (including Neale Woods) without prior consideration and written consent by emailing the manager of marketing.
For consideration, a formal request must be submitted at least one week prior to the proposed shooting date. Approval or denial will be given after the consideration process.

Awards and Recognition


  • 2021 Best of Omaha – Children’s Attraction


  • 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 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 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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