Is that Spring I hear?!
THIS IS NOT A DRILL – spring is in the air! Yep, it’s true, 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 great spring hikes near Milwaukee, Wisconsin! 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 expansive prairie comes to life in the spring, making it a great time to visit. It is southeastern Wisconsin’s largest managed prairie, so there are lots of places to explore. I recommend coming early in the morning to birdwatch while you hike! Be sure to wear hiking boots that can get muddy if you visit in the spring.
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 the 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!