Route: Lincoln Loop (NE)

Submitted by bwandzi on Thu, 12/24/2020 - 11:41am
Nebraska, US
46.46 mi
Vertical Gain
1,592 ft

A circumnavigation of the capital city of Nebraska.  Strongly recommended that you download the gpx to watch or phone as there are lots of turns.

The route is described clockwise, starting at the parking lot located next to Salt Creek where Speedway and Park intersect.  But since it's a loop you can start anywhere and go either direction.

Head west on Bison Trail through Pioneers Park to the Nature Center Prairie.  Follow the trail closest to the fence/golf course bearing right at any juncture. Follow this until you encounter a gate on the north side of the prairie that lets you out to Van Dorn.  Hop the fence and follow SW 40th North.

When you get to "O" St. go left (west) to NW 56th St. and go right (north).  This is the first crux of the run where there is busy road and no sidewalk.  

NW 56th St. to Adams, go right (east) for a few blocks and then left (north) on NW 48th St.  Now the directions make you think a bit.  At Knight Dr, cross eastward over NW 48th and take the bike trail to NW 47th, up to Cuming St.  Cuming St go right (east) to NW 38th St.  Go left (north) and follow this road as it becomes Airport Dr and then NW 31st.  When you come to Wild Rose Ln, go right (east). Do not cross under the highway.

On Wild Rose cross over NW 27th St and follow the on ramp up to the highway should, likely sticking to the grass and giving traffic a wide berth.  Crux #2.  Stay near the highway for about a half mile and go left on Silverado Ct --> Lander --> Aster --> Tallgrass Pkwy.  Go left (north) to Alvo Road.

Alvo Road will take you east to 14th.  Go right (south) down 14th St.  Cross over the interstate and take the first left (east) on Fletcher.  Cross over 27th st and continue following Fletcher where it becomes 33rd St.  This will deadend at Superior St.  Go left (east) here and follow this to Cornhusker Hwy.  Go over the highway and under  the train tracks and you are now on Havelock.  Run through the historic neighborhood to 70th where you will bear right (south).  

Go south on 70th to the Dietrich bike trail. Continue east on the trail to just before 84th st.  Take the side trail on the east end of Mahoney park and navigate past the dog park to 84th St.  Go south until you get to Old Cheney.

At Old Cheney go left (east) for a block and then go quick right onto the Billy Wolff bike trail.  Follow this until it brings you under Pine Lake road. Emerging from that tunnel go east on Pine Lake to 98th St.  Go south on 98th to a crossing over Nebraska Highway 2.  Play a quick game of Frogger (TM) over the busy road into the (very) small town of Cheney, NE.  From here go west on 1st st--> right (north) on 91st --> then left (west) to Yankee Hill.  

Yankee Hill will bring you westward across the southern border of Lincoln.  It is also the 3rd crux of the run.  As of Winter 2020 there is no sidewalk between 70th and 48th streets.  This will likely change over time, but the running here is super dicey on the shoulder.  Continue west on Yankee Hill to 14th St.  Go left (south) and then a quick right on the access trail to Jamaica.  From there go right (north) to the Salt Creek Levee trail.  800m will get to the finish of the Lincoln Loop.

This route is set up for any style of FKT.  You could cache supplies along the way or use gas stations (what I did).  Supported would not be a problem either.  


GPS Track


I am on a sightseeing and run training road trip and decided to run this route today. Long day! My hotel was near the southeast corner of the route, so I started at the underpass at Pine Lake Road and ran clockwise. The running surface is a mix of almost everything. Concrete sidewalks and city pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. Cinder pathways that appear to be converted rails-to-trails, some of these have canopies of trees with excellent shade. City streets and highways, some with very little or no shoulders. And one short part on the southwest corner next to Pioneers Park Nature Center that requires hopping two fences and running through a cattle pasture. No cattle were there today, but plenty of dung!

Heads up, this route is not for everyone. First, it's very long (46 miles). Second, it does traverse some higher speed roads with minimal shoulders so you need to be careful. These stretches are relatively short, but a little uncomfortable. Third, without support, you need to plan to stop at convenience stores and fast food joints for your day's nutrition and hydration. The west and northwest sections of the route have the fewest options for replenishing food and fluids.  

I did enjoy the route as I'm training for a long journey race on open road, but some would probably prefer the portions of this route on the cinder and concrete pathways where you're not competing with traffic. Those segments are quite enjoyable!