Building open seasonally Sat 8 to 5 & Sun 12 to 5
Trails open dawn to dusk for FNA members and visitors.
$ = Cheap, Under $10
9 miles of dirt trails
Nature center building
Millard Observatory, open during scheduled Astronomy Nights
Neale Woods, we like you. How could you not? You sort of have to love that there is not one but two forests less than 20 minutes away from downtown Omaha. Not parks. Forests. There’s a lot to like about that.
For example, Neale Woods, which is administered by the Fontenelle Nature Association (who also manage Fontenelle Forest in nearby Bellevue), houses the Millard Observatory, the largest observatory in the Omaha metro area. That’s very likeable. It’s stationed at the Neale Woods Nature Center for the attractive price of $6 for adults ($4 for members).
On a good night, the Observatory boasts that you can see “planets, nebulae, and more.” If you find out what the “…and more” is, don’t hesitate to drop us a line, we’re dying to find out!
Then there’s the Neale Woods trail system, which makes excellent use of the nearly 600 acres that comprise the forest. The aptly named Tallgrass Trail cuts its way through both the wooded areas and the fields of prairie grasses the forest is known for, passing the observatory and the Carl Jonas Interpretive Center in the process. There’s also some sweet hill top views of Iowa’s Loess Hills, the largest deposits of loess soil in the world.
The Neale Woods trails are open dawn to dusk year round at a cost of $5 for adults (or free to members!), with the Neale Woods Nature Center open seasonally (call them at 453-5615 if you have any questions)..
Like the Fontenelle Forest, there are numerous educational programs housed at Neale Woods, with many directed at children, in addition to a host of special events. Bird watching is BIG at Neale Woods. Check the Fontanelle Nature Association’s website for more details, or take a look at the Leaflet, the FNA’s quarterly newsletter.