The gateways to Wilderness Park are not located in it’s 7 parking lots, they are the trails themselves. Twenty two miles of dirt trails which lay bare a land not made by human hands. Dog owners, parents, equestrians, cyclists and solitude seekers all navigate and celebrate this rare amenity not available to most cities Lincoln’s size. The trail is the midwife of these gifts – the whitetail running up the creek bank, the oriole building a nest on the edge of the prairie, owls and eagles nesting high in the riparian canopy.

Every month, Friends of Wilderness Park invites you to join hike leader, Madeline Cass, on an immersive experience in Wilderness Park. Madeline is an photographer and mycologist inspired by the Naturalist School in Iowa. Using art and science to build bridges between us and the rest of nature, our hikes will feature scientific identification and artistic conversations, wedding our hearts and minds to the wild.

In winter, the park grows quiet. Most creatures who stay here during this season hunker down and conserve their energy, waiting for the next thaw. Intrepid trail users find peace and relative solitude here. Ice covered trails remind you of muscles you didn’t know you had.

When the thaw comes, flickers and wrens awaken the sleepy silence, flitting from branch to branch, seeking food. Harbingers of spring and of the migrants who will soon fill the park with  song and color. Soon, buds pop, leaves unfurl, spring ephemerals bloom, nettles and morels entice. Some of the best times to be on the trails before it gets buggy. Walk or ride comfortable and slow. Salt Creek swells, everything frozen is released.

Summer is time either to learn to dance with mosquitoes or move faster than their wings can fly. The park exists because of water, as do these creatures.

Autumn is the park’s shortest season. In a matter of weeks, leaves take their leave in a brilliant flash of color and release. The golden cottonwood is a treasured sight. After the mosquitoes are gone, before the first snow.

Experience Wilderness Park in all its glory, in all seasons. Specific times and places will be posted on our Facebook page. Please rsvp to let us know of your interest or intention to join us.

Poets, scientists and avid adventurers who join us share their own special talents on the trail. There is always something new to learn. For more information, call/text Adam at 402-853-6613, email FWP, or leave a message on Facebook.