The MoPac Trail in Springfield, Nebraska is an integral component of what is planned to be a more than 50-mile recreational trail between Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska's two largest cities. Four sections of the trail are currently open for use: the MoPac Trail West
in the heart of Lincoln, the MoPac Trail East
extending from Lincoln through rural farmland to the tiny town of Wabash, the Platte River Connection/Lied Platte River Bridge
near South Bend and the northernmost section in Springfield.
Nearly the entire route rests on an abandoned Missouri Pacific Railroad corridorhence the trail's nameknown as the Omaha Belt Line. From the south, the Springfield portion begins about 3 miles east of the Lied Platte River Bridge, just across the Platte River from the town of Louisville. The trail parallels State Route 50 for most of its route northward before entering the distant Omaha suburb of Springfield.
Springfield was originally founded in anticipation of the Missouri Pacific Railroad building tracks through the area, so it is wholly appropriate that the route is preserved as a trail. Currently, there is a roughly 2,000-foot gap in the route between Main Street and Platteview Road in Springfield. Use N. 1st Street and N. 2nd Street or the shoulder on State Route 50 to access the northern segment.
From Springfield, the MoPac Trail again traverses through open countryside before ending abruptly at Schram Road, south of the Omaha community of Westmont. In the near future, the gap in the MoPac Trail in Springfield will be filled in, while longer term plans call for the connection of the four open segments, as well as an extension north into Omaha.
A dedicated parking lot for the MoPac Trail can be found where the trail meets Platteview Road. In the south, parking is available at the intersection of State Route 50 and State Route 31 just north of the vehicular bridge over the Platte River.