4 Milwaukee-Area Trails That Take You Off the Beaten Path

Of all the seasons in Milwaukee, New Berlin, and Brookfield, fall is the favorite for many of our staff at Krause Funeral Homes. Those of us who grew up here might remember walking to school in September, crunching through leaves along the way. Then taking in the sights and sounds of Halloween in October – our city is second to none when it comes to embracing all the holiday has to offer. The sunny days and chilly nights move us right into November, where a steady diet of turkey, pumpkin pie, and Packer football fits the bill.

Throughout the autumn months, one of the activities we enjoy most is taking walks on the trails that pop up in and around the city. We’ve compiled a list of our top choices and encourage you to share your own favorite destinations in the comments below. Take a morning or afternoon to head outside, breathe in the crisp fall air, and think about all you have to be thankful for during what many of us deem Milwaukee’s “most wonderful time of the year.”

Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum

Want to feel tucked away in nature, yet never leave the heart of the city? This urban hidden gem is the destination for you! With trails, trees, water, bridges, piers, and more, the Arboretum is beautiful any time of year – but especially during the fall months.   

The lowdown:

  • Located between the Milwaukee River and the Oak Leaf Trail, stretching from North Avenue to Locust Street
  • 40 acres total
  • 2-mile loop of trails through open prairie and wooded riverfront
  • Look for over 150 different species of birds and 70 trees indigenous to Southeastern Wisconsin
  • Good for all skill levels
  • Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash

Scuppernong Springs Nature Trails

For those who enjoy a beautiful hike with unique points of interest along the way, the Scuppernong Trails are just the place. Yes, there are springs and streams, hardwood forests, and pine plantations. But you’ll also pass an old Native American campground, an abandoned factory, the site of a hotel that burned down, and railroad tracks leading to nowhere. A true adventure awaits!

The lowdown:

  • Located in the Kettle Moraine State Forest
  • Three color-coded loop trails ranging from just over 2 miles to 5 miles
  • Convenient parking
  • A state park vehicle sticker is required
  • Points of interest are labeled on the trail map, and marked with wooden signs

Wehr Nature Center

With 220 acres of nature preserve including 5 miles of trails ranging from easy to moderate to difficult, the Wehr Nature Center in Franklin has something for everyone. Enjoy flat trails, a wheelchair accessible boardwalk, a beautiful waterfall, and much more. Walk through wetland, lowland forest, and along the base of the prairie all in under an hour.

The lowdown:

  • Located on College Ave. in Franklin
  • Pets are prohibited
  • Admission is free but there is a $3.50 parking fee for cars
  • Trails are open from sunrise to sunset 7 days a week

Retzer Nature Center Trails

Head to Waukesha to explore 450 acres of prairie, forest, wildlife habitat, nature trails, and more. The new Discovery Trail, scheduled for completion in mid-fall, will include a variety of exploration stations including sensory-based play experiences and STEM activities. Plus, plan to visit the Horwitz – DeRemer Planetarium with its accurate day and night sky projection system. A fun learning experience for all ages!

The lowdown:

  • Located on Madison St. in Waukesha
  • Paved trail and grassy paths
  • Free of charge
  • No dogs allowed

This season – and in the months to follow – our caring staff at Krause Funeral Homes is always available to support you and your family. As an integral part of the Milwaukee community, we encourage you to reach out to us at any time.