Make the Most of Your Fontenelle Forest Experience

Are you ready to hit the trails? Check out these tips to make the most out of your next visit to Fontenelle Forest or Neale Woods Nature Reserve!

1. Embrace your inner explorer. Go on a nature scavenger hunt!

Kids and adults alike love a good scavenger hunt. At the Forest, there are new discoveries to be made around every bend in the trail. Use Nature Search to learn more about your findings! It’s free and features over 2000 species of flora and fauna found at Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods Nature Reserve!

2. Use free apps to identify the plants and animals you encounter.

You don’t have to be a master naturalist to know what plants, animals and insects live in your local ecosystems. Try out free apps like Seek by iNaturalist or Merlin Bird ID to start learning about the interesting things you see while enjoying your time outside. Just upload a photo and these apps will provide an identification. Merlin can even ID a bird by its call!

3. Take the path less traveled. 

The Riverview Boardwalk is a great place for families and firsttime visitors to spend their time at the Forest, with many opportunities to observe wildlife and scenic views. But did you know Fontenelle Forest has four main access points? The Nature Center, Camp Logan, Camp Wa-Kon-Da and the Wetlands each provide hikers with a new perspective of the Forest!  

Neale Woods Nature Reserve (pictured) in North Omaha is also owned by Fontenelle Forest and offers a more remote hiking experience and fantastic views of our conservation efforts in action. Hiking the trails less traveled is a great way to see flora and fauna you may not in the higher traffic areas! Trail maps are available at Visitor Services or on our main website here. 

4. Did you discover something cool on your hike? Take a picture instead of taking it with you!

We love seeing guests exploring nature! The best way to be a good advocate for the Forest and the environment is to lead by example and Leave No Trace. Fontenelle Forest asks that visitors refrain from foraging, collecting, feeding animals or leaving trash or other items that do not belong in the Forest’s natural ecosystem. Not only do more hikers get to see amazing fungi, flowers, rocks, shells, etc. — leaving the Forest as you found it helps our mission of conservation.

5. Not ready for a solo adventureSign up for a program or guided hike!

Programs and guided hikes provide the perfect opportunity to learn new ways to engage with nature! Explore trails you haven’t yet ventured on by signing up for a guided hike or expand your knowledge of nature and local history through a lecture series. Check out upcoming programs here.