Looking for that perfect way to spend your day? Ready to take a break from the humdrum doldrums of the city and to enjoy the awesome sights and sounds of a more natural setting? Pioneer Park Nature Center is a the haven you are looking for!
Pioneer Park Nature Center is a 668-acre nature preserve in Lincoln, Nebraska where South Coddington meets West Van Dorn Street. In addition to some beautiful woods and grasslands, they feature 2 nature buildings which proudly display a variety of small animals including snakes, insects, other lizards, and a bees keep.
The latest building added was The Prairie Building, which was constructed to highlight sustainable building techniques. It features an unusual straw-bail construction and a green-certified roof along with several other interesting techniques.
The hiking trails
There are 8 miles of awesome hike-able trails through the type of terrains once native to the state. The trails are divided in north and south portions by the Haines Branch Creek, traversable by a suspension bridge reserved for pedestrians. The north side trails take wood-chip lined paths that wind around 3 ponds, through woods and prairie land, and across a boardwalk. The south side is more naturals and the trails are undeveloped – largely unimproved dirt or mowed grass.
Additionally, the nature preserve features a herd of bison, elk, and white-tailed deer all of which roam their natural environments along the trails. There are also several birds, including the one which represents more to this country than any other: the majestic bald eagle.
Fun for the family
For the visitor bringing his/her family in tow, the Park features a natural play area. Plenty of sand, hollowed out tree limbs, and a plethora of sticks and seed pods offer a fun way for the kids to spend their time enjoying themselves and learning in a sensory-rich environment.
Also for children, there is a school program, nature-based preschools, nature day camps, scout badge work, and various special events. There are many historical sites. There are large pillars which were once part of the original treasury building, and the statue and story of Red Cloud.
The park is open 362 days a year, meaning that there are always awesome activities in store for the family: hiking in the summer (not to mention feeding the ducks!) and some of the best sledding in Lincoln during the winter months. To make the park even more enticing, there is no admission fee (save for during some special events.)
There are softball fields where the family, or you and some friends, can enjoy a fun game while cooking up some great grub on the grills which dart the playground area. Picnic tables abound when you and yours are ready to devour your freshly grilled grub.
One last thing to mention for those of you who own a GPS and love geocache: Pioneer Park currently has 10 geocache locations, a number which is steadily rising.
Source: Personal Experience