Mequon, Wisconsin lies just north of Milwaukee along Interstate 43 in Ozaukee County. It is the perfect distance for a day trip from Milwaukee. This scenic suburb has beautiful natural features and an interesting history. It is Wisconsin’s fifth largest city by area and happens to be my hometown! As a “resident expert,” I know there are a lot of unique things to do in Mequon. Some of them are completely free. Here are a few of my favorites!
Hike at Mequon Nature Preserve
Mequon Nature Preserve has more than six miles of trails that wind through native prairie and forest. This trail map shows where you can find small ponds, groves of trees, and even an observation tower! The view from atop the observation tower is breathtaking. It is one of the most Instagrammable places in Mequon!
Take the Giant Staircase at Concordia
Concordia University lies in Mequon’s northeastern corner on a bluff along the shores of Lake Michigan. Visitors can take a giant set of stairs or a set of winding trails down the bluff to get a better view of the lake. The stairs are also a great place to workout. “Run the stairs” or do stepping exercises for a unique and free workout in Mequon.
Kayak Along the Milwaukee River
The very same Milwaukee River that winds through downtown Milwaukee has a northwoods feel in Mequon. Big trees and secluded islands make this a beautiful place to kayak or canoe. A boat launch can be found at Villa Grove Park.
Bike the Interurban Trail
Explore Wisconsin's Oldest German Settlement
Wisconsin’s oldest German settlement is called “Freistadt,” meaning “free city,” and lies in western Mequon. You can visit the Freistadt historical site to see some of the original buildings built by the Pomeranians who first settled the area in 1839. They are open to the public every year on July 4th, where you might also find me performing with local folk dancing troupe (pictured above), Pommersche Tanzdeel Freistadt!
Watch the Fishway Camera
The dam along the Milwaukee River in Mequon and Thiensville once prevented certain species of fish from swimming up and down river to spawn. Since then, a fishway has been constructed to encourage the migration of native fish. You can watch for fish on the live fishway camera. Once you spot one, you’ll be hooked!