Nearby destinations offer plenty of outside activities in December and January

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 Nearby destinations offer plenty of outside activities in December and January

courtesy of Outdoor Adventures (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Great options abound in Lincoln (and nearby) to enjoy being outside and active during the cool temperatures and possible snow flurries in December and January. Here's some ideas to get you out into the natural elements.


When there’s lots of snow on the ground…

Both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular when the area has a minimum of 3 inches/7.6 cm of snow on the ground.

Pioneers Park is the best place to cross-country ski in Lincoln. Located at the city’s southwest edge on W. Van Dorn Street, this nearly 300-acre park gets the most XC ski traffic. You can easily jump into another skier’s tracks or lay down your own.

Daily rentals of cross-country ski packages - with boots, skis, and poles - and snowshoes are available for UNL students and the public from the Outdoor Adventures Center on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus.


When the ground is snow-free…

Check out the 134 miles encompassed by the twelve paved and crushed rock trails intertwine through Lincoln for biking, walking, running and hiking – all near to UNL.

On windy days, head into forested spots to minimize the wind-chill on your outside activities. Popular destinations are:

  • The 1,472-acre Wilderness Park is managed by Lincoln Parks and Recreation department and has designated trails for hiking, trail running, biking, and horseback riding. Pets must be leashed. Parking lots are at most major street and trail intersections.

    Need a bike? You can get a short-term rental at the Outdoor Adventures Center, too.

  • Branched Oak State Recreation Area 7 has hiking, trail running and bike riding trails. Additional trails are located in Areas 1 and 2. Managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks, this locale is a 25-minute drive northwest from city campus, near the town of Raymond. A park entry permit is required to enter the rec area with your vehicle and pets must be leashed.
  • About 40 minutes northeast from downtown Lincoln via Interstate 80 is another Nebraska Game and Parks-managed area: Platte River State Park. Home to some of the best single-track mountain bike trails in the state, the park is also a much-sought destination for hiking, trail running, and horseback riding. A park entry permit is required to enter the rec area with your vehicle and pets must be leashed.


Want more outside activity ideas, destinations and gear?
Connect with UNL’s Outdoor Adventures Center  |  14th & W Streets  |  402-472-4777



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