OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Standing Bear Lake opened its floating trail to the public on Friday. The project began construction just a few months ago, and now offers a safer way to get around the trail.
“Standing Bear Lake did not have a trail completely around the lake, and the problem has always been 144th St.," said landscape architect Dennis Bryers with Omaha Parks, Recreation and Public Property. "People walking on that shoulder, it wasn’t safe.”
The solution to that problem, according Bryers, was a floating trail. Two years ago Bryers saw the idea and after some fundraising, construction began in July.
The project cost $987,000, with philanthropic groups and the Papio Missouri-River NRD paying 75% of that ticket.
It features two sitting areas where fishing is allowed, a handicap accessible canoe and kayak launch area and solar lights for those using the lake during evening and early morning hours.
Many in the community are already making use of the safe new route around the lake.
“At least it will give them a place to cut through and go totally around the lake without having to deal with traffic," said community member Cathy Stransky.
Bryers says the trail will be able to adjust to rising and falling water levels.
“The floating trail is actually the same components that they use to make docks for marinas, so they’re made to be out in the weather in the environment," Bryers said. "In fact the decking here, the company has said that when it gets wet, it has even better traction than when it’s dry.”
During the winter months, snow and ice shouldn’t be too much of an issue as the material is said to absorb sunlight.
Those visiting Standing Bear say the floating trail is a welcomed addition.
“I love it," Stransky said. "They did a really good job, and I think people are really going to enjoy it.”
The floating trail located is near the 144th St. entrance of the park.