Fontenelle Forest highlighted in Prevention magazine’s ‘Best Walks in America’ list

Fontenelle Forest highlighted in Prevention magazine’s ‘Best Walks in America’ list
Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue was recently highlighted in Prevention magazine’s “50 best walks in America that every traveler must explore.” AJ DAHM

Fontenelle Forest’s Riverview Boardwalk in Bellevue was recently highlighted on Prevention magazine’s “50 best walks in America that every traveler must explore.”

The national magazine chose one trail in each state to highlight. The 1.3-mile loop was described as “both wheelchair- and stroller-friendly, making it the perfect stroll through the woods for the whole family.”

Molly Mullen, manager of marketing and events, said the staff was “thrilled” when they heard about the list.

“We know a lot of the trails in Nebraska, and to say the boardwalk is one of the best was amazing,” Mullen said.

Iowa’s High Trestle Trail was also highlighted by Prevention magazine. The trail is about two hours from Omaha.

The about 25-mile trail in Big Creek State Park was described as having “spectacular views of the valley.”

Mullen said Fontenelle Forest’s boardwalk, with more than 100,000 visitors a year, is easily the most popular hike at the forest.

Jim Beebe, a forest ranger of 12 years, said what makes the boardwalk special is that it’s meant for everyone.

“We are set up for family,” Beebe said. “Maybe there’s a little kid in a stroller or grandma who can’t hike the trails anymore — everybody can still go on the boardwalk together.”

As visitors make their way through the forest on the boardwalk, they can catch a glimpse of the river and Omaha treasures including the Woodmen Tower and the Desert Dome at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

“The boardwalk is just a sliver of Fontenelle, but I think it’s a really important sliver,” Beebe said. “We have a ton to offer, but it’s important we maintain and cherish this.”

Fontenelle Forest is also planning to open a $1.6 million, 5-acre aerial adventure park in mid-July.

TreeRush Adventures will feature tightropes, suspended wooden platforms and ziplines. There will be two main areas: a park geared for adults and older children and a kids park for ages 4 to 6.

Fontenelle Forest, at 1111 Bellevue Blvd. North and open daily, encompasses 2,000 acres and has more than 19 miles of trails.

The forest and museum are offering free entry to military families all summer.

The World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.

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