Milwaukee boasts more than 300 miles of recreational trails, and you’re
sure to find a perfect one to explore each month of the year. Here’s
a sample of what the area has to offer.
Whitnall X-Country Trail
January is a
month often marked by resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more.
Ditch the traditional gym, rent a pair of cross-country skis and head
to Whitnall Park, which offers cross-country ski rentals at the
Whitnall Park Clubhouse. To view rental rates, go to
Lake Country Trail
trail cuts through the center of Waukesha County. Its rolling terrain
challenges even the most experienced snowshoer, but the scenic views
of the mid-Kettle Moraine area keep trail-goers distracted and
entertained. Download a trail map at
Oak Leaf Birding Trail
Best for Bird
Did you know
that more than 150 bird species pass through Milwaukee County during
their spring and autumn migrations? Combine this number with the
county’s existing 100-plus bird species, and the trail offers
visitors the chance to see more than 250 species of birds. Find out
more at county.milwaukee.gov.
Aaron State Trail
Best for Running
trail begins at Lakeshore State Park and weaves through the Historic
Third Ward and Menomonee River Valley. Whether you’re training for
an upcoming race or enjoying a leisurely walk, the trail provides a
picturesque backdrop for runners and walkers alike. Learn more at www.hankaaronstatetrail.org.
May: Oak Leaf
Best for Road
May is National
Bike Month, so mount your bike and hit the pavement. Possibly the most
well-known recreational trail in southeastern Wisconsin, the 114-mile
trail encircles Milwaukee County, connecting all of the major parks in
the Milwaukee County Park System. View a full route map at
redevelopment project to pave the entire trail is currently underway,
but the 12.2-mile trail’s 10-foot width and generally flat terrain
makes it ideal for horseback riding. The Waukesha County trail
stretches from Merton to Menomonee Falls. Learn more about the
redevelopment project at www.waukeshacounty.gov.
The majority of
this paved trail is off-road, providing a safe and secure option for
families. The 30-mile trail spans the entire length of Ozaukee County
and connects the communities of Mequon, Thiensville, Cedarburg,
Grafton, Port Washington and Belgium. View trail maps at www.interurbantrail.us.
Milwaukee Urban Water Trail
Canoeing and Kayaking
height of summer, so why not enjoy the weather from the water? The
Milwaukee Urban Water Trail winds through 25 miles of the Milwaukee,
Menomonee and Kinnickinnic rivers, offering canoe riders and kayakers
a secure route and intimate views of Milwaukee’s shoreline. Download
the official route map at www.mkeriverkeeper.org.
Hoyt Mountain Bike Trail
loop caters to novice riders, but the trail provides challenging
points for more experienced mountain bike riders. The primarily
single-track path weaves along the Menomonee River in Wauwatosa;
riders can access the trail from Hoyt Park’s main parking area. View
specific trail information, including ascent and descent metrics, at www.mtbproject.com.
Age National Scenic Trail
Best for Hiking
within the state of Wisconsin, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is
one of only 11 national scenic trails in the United States. The
1,000-mile footpath crosses through Lapham Peak State Park in Waukesha
County, where hikers can experience views of Wisconsin’s illustrious
fall beauty. Read more about the trail’s history at www.iceagetrail.org.
Natural History Trail
Best for the
searching for an active yet educational way to spend your afternoon,
consider walking the Natural History Trail, which circles the Wehr
Nature Center in Whitnall Park. The 1.7-mile trail is designed to
showcase different geological communities and their diverse plant and
animal life. Explore an interactive trail map at www.friendsofwehr.org.
Ozaukee County Snowmobile Trails
If we’re on
our way to a white Christmas in December, check out the powder-filled
trails in Ozaukee County, which cover more than 90 miles. Riders are
encouraged to join one of the county’s six snowmobile clubs, which
meet monthly. Visit www.visitportwashington.com to download