Wilderness Park

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Wilderness Park is a 1,472-acre (596 ha)[1] mostly-public conservancy located in southwest Lincoln, Nebraska. There are many separate branches of the park, some separated by roads including prominently S 14th St, a north-south street which dissects much of the south end of the park. The park is heavily wooded, but also includes some prairieland.

Boundaries are S 1st St on the west, S 27th St on the east, Van Dorn St on the north and Saltillo Rd on the south - however, not nearly all of the land between these boundaries resides in the park. The park is much wider in the southern segments. Among smaller streams, Beal Slough, a primary tributary to Salt Creek, passes through Wilderness Park.

Wilderness is the largest city park in Lincoln.


Wilderness Park features a vast network of walking trails, single-track biking trails, and horse trails. Each trail type is denoted by signs along the trails. The hiking trail was designated part of the National Recreation Trails Program in 1977.[2]

The crushed limestone 6.5-mile Jamaica North Trail is mostly located within the park. South of Saltillo Rd, Jamaica North connects to the Homestead Trail corridor, which as of July 2012 reaches to Beatrice, Nebraska, and will ultimately extend to Marysville, Kansas.[3]


Parts of the northern end of Wilderness Park was once called Epworth Park (1903-1940), a Methodist retreat. The north-most section was once Camp Minis-Kuya (1935 to 1956), a Boy Scout camp.

The site of the 1894 Rock Island railroad wreck, an act of sabotage which killed 11, lies within Wilderness Park.[4][5] The trestle where the derailment occurred passes above the Jamaica North Trail at 40°44′38″N 96°42′45″W / 40.74389°N 96.71250°W / 40.74389; -96.71250 (1894 train wreck).[6]


Wilderness Park is home to at least a dozen pedestrian bridges of varying architecture and age.

In 2010, the center of a bridge fell about 15 feet in the south end of Wilderness Park while about 20 children from a day camp were crossing it. No one was seriously injured, but the incident prompted a review of all bridges in the park.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "http://lincoln.ne.gov/maps/parks/wildrns.htm". Lincoln Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2012-08-02.  External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ http://www.americantrails.org/NRTDatabase/trailDetail.php?recordID=2253.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Homestead Trail between Lincoln and Beatrice ready for riders". Lincoln Journal-Star. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  4. ^ "Epilogue: A forgotten mystery of death and destruction". Lincoln Journal-Star. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  5. ^ "Original story from 1894: Death by fire". Lincoln Journal-Star. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  6. ^ "Historical train crash marker dedicated southwest of Lincoln". Lincoln Journal-Star. 2010-08-09. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Pedestrian bridge at Wilderness Park fails; no serious injuries". Lincoln Journal-Star. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 

Coordinates: 40°45′08″N 96°43′00″W / 40.75222°N 96.71667°W / 40.75222; -96.71667