The Johnson Lake Trail project was first talked about in the early 2000’s and the dream took shape in the years that followed. The first segment was built in 2005 and additional trail added as funding and easements were acquired. Today the trail has over 8 miles of off-road concrete pathway. The 10.3 mile circle around the lake includes segments of shared roadway on the dam and near the inlet to the lake.
The trail is designed to allow users to experience some of the various environs around the lake. There are segments that pass through shady tree stands, follow the edge of farm fields, follow canals, or pass-through nature areas. The ultimate goal is to complete the trail forming a safe and assessable circle for non-motorized recreation and transportation.
The Johnson Lake Trail is much more than just a concrete pathway. Spaced along the trail are gazebos, pergolas, and rest areas for users to enjoy. There are three Little Free Libraries and two bike repair stations along the trail. Trees, shrubs, a pollinator habitat area, and flowers have been added to provide shade and color to the trail corridor. In 2020 the trail was recognized for the diversity of trees and shrubs as an affiliate to the Nebraska State Arboretum. Trailhead signs and parking areas provide access and directions for visitors to the lake. The trail connects many of the amenities around the lake. In the spring of 2022 there will be community playgrounds added along the trail.
The trail is open to walkers, runners, and cyclists of all ages. Pets on leases are welcome and bags are provided for cleaning up after your pet. Motorized wheelchairs and electric assist bikes are welcome. All other forms of motorized vehicles are not allowed. The trail provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of Johnson Lake.