Lincoln, NE's Parks, Nature and Sports Bring Variety to Recreation

People who visit or live in Lincoln may use many words to describe the Midwestern city

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 12:12

The city is just brimming with opportunities to get out of the house and stretch your legs, catch an exciting game or clear your head in nature.

The Lincoln Parks Division maintains 114 parks, 99 miles of trails, two dog parks and nearly 5,100 acres of islands and/or conservancies.

The community also offers 65 tennis courts, 11 outdoor pools, 11 golf courses and eight recreation centers, and 15 lakes are in or near the city. Lincoln boasts more parkland than any other city in the country per capita. Antelope Park, Holmes Park, Oak Lake Park, Pioneers Park and Wilderness Park are just a few of the recreation areas throughout the city connect by paths. Antelope Park is home to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and the popular Sunken Gardens, the only garden in the state listed on the National Geographic Guide to Public Garden’s list of 300 Best Gardens to Visit in the U.S. and Canada. Pioneers Park includes the Pioneers Park Nature Center, a 668-acre wildlife sanctuary with eight miles of trails.

The Nature Center also features hands-on and live animal exhibits and a bird garden where 244 bird varieties have been spotted. Spectator sports are also a very important part of Lincoln’s recreation scene. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers have roughly 35 NCAA Division I teams, including football, wrestling, volleyball, track and field and men's and women’s basketball. Between 1972 and 2004, Big Red, as the football team is affectionately known, won nine or more games each season and played in a bowl game each season. Whether you’re a player or a watcher, you won’t have a hard time staying busy in Lincoln.