A sylvan break from bustling west Omaha, the Keystone Trail takes in views of ducks, which emerge from Little Papillion Creek alongside the trail, and robins, which sing in the trees lining the path. This hike runs from the northern trailhead to Roberts Park, just north of Dodge Street, the main east-west thoroughfare in Omaha. This was one of Omaha’s first “modern” trails, laid out in the late 1980s as part of an effort to expand outdoor recreational opportunities for area residents. Today, the trail is very popular with cyclists as well as walkers and joggers.
As the path moves along the sloping banks of the creek, the sweet smell of honeysuckle hangs in the air. Pine trees line several stretches, and pine cones are scattered across the path. Near the end of the hike, the path crosses Cass Street. Nearby are two of Omaha’s main hospitals, but from the 1920s until the early 1990s, this was the site of Peony Park, a thirty-five-acre amusement park with a pool, beach, and waterslide. The park’s ballroom saw performances by Lawrence Welk and Duke Ellington, and in later years hosted concerts by Metallica, Pearl Jam, and other bands.
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