A few years ago, on our first visit to Omaha, we crossed the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The impressive 3,000-foot s-curved bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the nation, spans the Missouri River and connects Council Bluffs, Iowa, with Omaha, Nebraska. So I wasn’t surprised when the bridge was on the itinerary on my recent press trip to Council Bluffs. Even through it’s the same bridge, and I again took the obligatory photo of one foot in each state, seeing the bridge from the perspective of Council Bluffs rather than Omaha somehow seemed a little different.
On a hot summer Tuesday evening, you would think most people would be at home in air-conditioned comfort. But there was a lot of activity on the bridge, as well as on the trails on each side, people biking, walking dogs, or like me, hanging out on the bridge taking photos. It was nice to see the Bob Kerrey Bridge is well used, as popular for locals as it is for tourists.
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The bridge connects over 150 miles of Iowa and Nebraska trails and is flanked by riverfront parks in each state. The last time I visited, the Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs wasn’t quite finished. So I was delighted to see the finished product, with a splash pad, nightly light show, and a built-in amphitheater.
Some say the best view of Omaha is from Council Bluffs, and I believe it. The skyline view from the upper part of the amphitheater is gorgeous.
I didn’t stay to see the light show in Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, but I hear it’s spectacular. The show is called Rays, created by artist Can Corson. It’s an interactive light show that activates every half hour after sundown on the five-acre park lawn. As the seasons change, so does the light color palette, so it always complements the natural environment. Although I missed the light show, the sun created a show in itself as it set beyond the horizon.
If you visit the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park
The Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park is located at 4200 Avenue B in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is easily accessed from the park. The park’s nightly light show activates every half hour after sundown.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites during my visit to Council Bluffs. Check rates and reviews TripAdvisor
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