Is that Spring I hear?!
Okay, you guys. THIS IS NOT A DRILL – spring is in the air! Yep, I said it, and it feels so good. With the rise in temperature comes the end of our hibernation and a chance to spend some real time outdoors. One of my favorite things to do outside is hike and spring is a great time to do that in Wisconsin. Read on for five of the greatest spring hikes near Milwaukee! Click here for some of Wisconsin’s best fall hikes.
The Bugline Trail runs from Menomonee Falls to Merton in Waukesha County and offers a wide array of beautiful scenery. Start at the east end for views of the forest and quarry or begin near Merton for a little walk through the prairie! This trail is wide and paved, making it great for even the muddiest spring days. Waukesha County also has some great lakes to visit in the summer!
Just a few miles north of the Illinois border, Richard Bong State Recreation Area is bursting with wildlife. This marsh and prairie ecosystem comes to life in the spring, making it a great time to visit. It is one of the largest natural areas in Wisconsin’s southeastern corner, so there is always a new trail to explore! I also had the chance to visit in winter during a group hike with Women Hiking Wisconsin.
Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is arguably the greatest place to hike in Ozaukee County. Spanning 73 acres, the trails are impressive, but it is the views that make this place a gem. You’ll want to bring your camera for this hike to fully appreciate your cliffside overlook of Lake Michigan. A set of stairs will also take you down to the beach so you can experience the water up-close.
Glacier Hills County Park is a beautiful place to enjoy Wisconsin’s unique glacial history! If you’ve already explored the famous Kettle Moraine State Forest, you’ll want to make time to visit this lesser-known gem filled with glacial features like kames, kettles, and eskers. I find these trails to be better maintained and more easily distinguished than some sections of the Kettle Moraine, making it a great place to hike in the spring.
The Oak Leaf Trail has many sections and spans over 125 miles across Milwaukee County, giving you endless options to hike in the spring. Many sections of the park have paved paths and are thus easily accessible. My personal favorite is the Kinnickinnic Line! It winds along the “KK” River in southern Milwaukee and goes right through my favorite Milwaukee County Park, Jackson Park! The trail is also a great way to get to Lakeshore State Park in downtown Milwaukee.