Levi Carter Park
Carter Lake is probably the only town in the Nebraska-Iowa area whose ownership was decided by a Supreme Court case. In 1892, Iowa got the town, but residents from Omaha, Council Bluffs, and beyond enjoy the lake, located in Levi Carter Park, to this day.
Named after industrialist Levi Carter following a $1 million gift from his widow, Levi Carter Park is located directly next to Eppley Airfield, in the only stretch of Iowa located west of the Missouri River. Despite it’s unusual location, the park is an expanse of lush grass fields and old growth, centered around the ox-bow shaped Carter Lake.
The park is a great place to launch a boat for water sports and fishing, and also has baseball and football fields, basketball courts, and areas for picnics and larger gatherings. It also has that unique quality that college students from the last two decades might recognize: I like to call it the “ultimate frisbee effect.” Many purpose built parks come with soccer goals or baseball diamonds, but a certain kind of park possesses the wide open, relatively flat, tree lined expanses of grass that make frisbee players salivate. Levi Carter Park begs for an impromptu game of some sort, from frisbee to man hunt.
A little more planning could yield a great picnic, and a fine sunset with views of the downtown Omaha skyline, if Mother Nature plays along.