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Fall hiking trails

Photos by Dan Bishop

October 2014

Itís true that Wisconsin summers are all too fleeting, but what comes next ó those weeks filled with crisp autumn air and vibrant colors ó is worth celebrating. So relinquish your post-summertime blues and explore our stateís brilliant fall beauty, one hiking trail at a time.

East Bank Trail

Linking Caesarís Park and the Urban Ecology Center, the East Bank Trail weaves along the Milwaukee River, offering hikers picturesque views of trees canopying the riverís edge. Continue hiking north to hit the Estabrook Beer Garden and cool down with a refreshing German brew.

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

The center sits on 185 acres of natural habitat just north of Milwaukee, a true respite in an otherwise urban environment. Attractions include six miles of hiking trails and a 60-foot observation tower that provides sweeping views of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties.

Scuppernong Trails (Ice Age National Scenic Trail)

Located within the Kettle Moraine State Forestís southern unit, the Scuppernong Trails feature three trail loops, ranging in length from two to five miles. The trails are part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, and each loop is heavily wooded and lined with pine trees, mixed hardwoods and glacial landscape.

Kohl Park Hiking Trail

Kohl Park is the newest park in the Milwaukee County Parks System. Its eponymous trail winds through the densely wooded, 270-acre park in Brown Deer. The trail currently measures two miles long, with future community efforts planned to expand the trailís length.

Scenic Tower at Holy Hill

Stretching 192 feet from its base to the tip of its spire, the Scenic Tower at Holy Hill grants visitors panoramic views of Waukesha and Washington counties. But be prepared to climb! Reaching the top requires ascending 178 stairs.

Monches Segment (Ice Age National Scenic Trail)

This especially scenic segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail passes through the Carl Schurz Forest and descends into wetlands and lowland forest to wrap along the Oconomowoc River. Stretching 6.4 miles, the trail is recommended for the more experienced hiker.

Seven Bridges Trail

If you enjoy the more ominous events the month of October often brings, consider hiking the Seven Bridges Trail. The trail, which twists and turns along the shores of Lake Michigan in Grant Park, is rumored to be haunted; hiking after dark is ill-advised.

Jacobus Park Nature Trail 

Searching for a family friendly trail? At just under one mile in length, the Jacobus Park Nature Trail, located in the heart of Wauwatosa, is the perfect option for families with little ones. The trail boasts rare species of flora and a seasonally diverse bird population, serving as a prime example of undisturbed woodland in an urban setting.




This story ran in the June 2014 issue of: