Everyone at Elite greatly appreciates being a part of our community, and knows that not all workouts need to occur indoors. In honor of the hometown pride generated by this month’s celebration of Milwaukee Day (April 14th), we thought it would be helpful for our members to know the trails and other amenities around our five locations.
Whether planning a hike with friends or enjoying a day at the beach with family, here are some locations where you can exercise and enjoy what each community near an Elite location has to offer. Please note that addresses have been provided only where applicable, as entrance points to particularly long stretches of trail vary.
Ozaukee Interurban Trail
30 miles of paved trail that spans the entire length of Ozaukee County, the majority of this stretch is off-road and perfect for family enjoyment. With a route connecting natural landscapes with historic downtowns, it can also be used for commuting for commerce, employment and business. The trail is historically based on the Interurban railway that once connected Ozaukee County to the cities of Milwaukee and Sheboygan.
Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve | 511 N. High Bluff Drive in Grafton
Representing one of the last portions of undeveloped bluff land along Lake Michigan, Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve contains over 73 acres of top notch sights. Visitors can hike, fish, picnic, bird watch, cross-country ski (during the winter), and even gaze over the gorge from the bridges overhead for spectacular views.
Katherine Kearney Carpenter Park | 801 W. Zedler Lane 100N in Mequon
The 35 acres for Katherine Kearney Carpenter Park were donated to the City in 1967, subject only to the guideline that it be used for public park purposes, where children and pets would be given unrestricted access. Walking trails and an off-leash dog park are available for all visitors.
Highland Woods | 12701 N. Green Bay Road 59W in Mequon
Hike these gorgeous 85 acres that were purchased by the Ozaukee Land Trust through generous private donations, a DNR grant, and land acquisition funds from the City of Mequon.
Hank Aaron State Trail
These approximate 12 miles are a continuous trail from Lake Michigan to the border of Milwaukee and Waukesha. The trail was named for the former Milwaukee Brewers and Braves great, who ranks second among all-time Major League Baseball home run leaders, and who battled racial adversity as he passed Babe Ruth on that list during the early 1970’s. One aspect that makes Hank Aaron State Trail unique amongst others in the area is several art displays throughout the trail, from paintings and glass panels to large displays made of natural resources. You can also get involved in upcoming events at the trail, including an Earth Day clean-up, Shakespeare in the Park, and the trail’s annual 5K. More information is available at HankAaronStateTrail.org.
Greenway Trail System
The development of these recreational trails (which, at completion, will cover almost 40 miles) began in 2003, with nine trails for bicycling, rollerblading, and walking/running currently connected. The term “greenway” defines corridors of protected open space managed for conservation and recreation purposes. Among its many benefits, the greenway ties the park’s components together and promotes public safety by separating pedestrians and cyclists from motor vehicle traffic.
Havenwoods State Forest | 6141 N. Hopkins St. in Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s only urban state forest, Havenwoods features 230+ acres of grasslands, woods and wetlands in Milwaukee. Visitors can choose a hike of varying lengths, as well as bike, run, and watch wildlife through over six miles of trails. Ducks, turkey, and the occasional deer can often be found here while on your exercise path.
Oak Leaf Trail
There is a striking amount of diversity within the 120-mile length of Oak Leaf Trail. From hills in urban areas to lush, flat plains, this is also a great trail for avid nature lovers who can take in some birdwatching during the day or perhaps see a coyote at dusk.
Brown Deer Recreational Trail
This one-mile trail acts as a connection between the northern end’s 30-mile Ozaukee Interurban Trail with the 120-mile Oak Leaf Trail to the south. Around the trail’s midway point, you’re able to cross train tracks and enter Village Park.
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center | 1111 E. Brown Deer Road in Bayside
Previously a farm for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses, Milwaukee’s comprehensive nature center offers six miles of trails that take visitors through 185 unique acres of forests, wetlands, restored prairies, ravines, bluffs, and Lake Michigan shoreline.
Wray Park | Corner of Mary Lynn Drive and Jaclyn Drive in Brookfield
With basketball and tennis courts, plenty of sand, and a playground that provides accessibility to those with disabilities, Wray Park is a wonderful place to exercise and spend time with the family outdoors. It’s a great spot to see deer, geese, and ducks, as well as cranes and even beavers.
Fox Brook Park | 2925 N. Barker Road in Brookfield
This 220+ acre park is at the site of a former quarry, complete with a man-made swimming beach, and a paved walking trail. The majority of the park is preserved and protected wetlands, where bird species like gold finches and indigo bunting are especially visible.
Kletzsch Park | 6560 N. Milwaukee River Parkway in Glendale
At over 140 acres, Kletzsch offers salmon fishing, softball diamonds, disc golf, soccer and softball fields, sand volleyball, archery and more! It also includes access to the aforementioned Oak Leaf Trail.
Brown Deer Park | Corner of Good Hope Road and N. Range Line Road in Milwaukee
Providing similar amenities to Kletzch but at over twice its size, Brown Deer Park also has a popular public 18-hole golf course for those looking to hit the range. During winter, the park’s two trails are great for skiers (split between classic and skate styles).
Here are some helpful links to keep handy, so that you can do your own exploring on foot, on bike, or however you like to stay active!