We both have a passion for sharing our love of the outdoors with our kids. We hope to instill appreciation for our state’s and specifically Washington County’s natural resources we’ve been given. Below is a list of hiking trails in our area that you may enjoy as well! If we’ve missed anything, please tell us! We love to share your experiences with other readers.
Shannon enjoying Wisconsin’s beautiful scenery with her family
Glacier Hills County Park – 1664 Friess Lake Rd Hubertus
Glacier Hills County Park, originally developed as St. Amelians Orphanage Youth Camp, became a Washington County Park in 1976. The park consists of 140 acres of land and includes approximately 1200 feet of frontage on Friess Lake. This park has 5 hiking trails that are relatively easy and beautiful views of Holy Hill as well. If you’re visiting in summer, bring bug spray on your hikes.
Ridge Run County Park – 300 S University Dr, West Bend
(Photo Credit: Paul Polter, Alltrails.com)
Located on the west side of West Bend, this park features trails running throughout a landscape of small lakes and hills. Great hiking to enjoy year round and dogs are welcome on a leash.
Riveredge Nature Center – 4458 County Hwy Y, Saukville, WI 53080
With over 379 acres of land and ten miles of meandering trails, wild Wisconsin is closer than you imagine. Lose yourself in one of the most beautifully restored natural sanctuaries in southeastern Wisconsin. With prairies, woods, ponds, and over one mile of Milwaukee River shoreline, you’ll always have something new to explore at Riveredge! Special features for families include a natural playground, climbing rocks, snowshoe rental, and classes and special events all year-round featuring hands-on environmental education and adventure!
Lac Lawrann Conservancy – 300 Schmidt Road in West Bend
(Photo Credit: Lac Lawrann Conservancy)
Are you looking for a place to take your kids to really enjoy nature? Then this is it! Lac Lawrann Conservancy is a 137-acre nature preserve. It is a vast expanse of water, sky, wetlands, native hardwood forest, red pine plantation, tall grass prairie, and glacial landscapes. The Conservancy serves as refuge to over 300 species of plants, over 200 species of birds, and a wide variety of mammals as well as reptiles and amphibians.
Lac Lawrann Conservancy has 4 miles of trails that lead hikers through deciduous woodlands to kettles, kames, an esker, as well as to ponds, wetlands, prairie, and a red pine plantation. Neighboring Royal Oaks Park adds another 1.5 miles of trails. Hiking trails include the Lake Loop, Railroad Spur, Esker, Northern Wetland, Pine Plantation, and Prairie Trails.
During winter, the conservancy offers 2.8 miles of groomed classical cross-country skiing on the Lake Loop, Pine Plantation, Railroad Spur, and Prairie Trails. Snowshoeing is encouraged on the Northern Wetland, Esker, and Railroad Spur Trails.
Although bicycles are not allowed on trails in the conservancy, their use is encouraged on the paved Eisenbahn Trail. A paved spur connects Lac Lawrann to the Eisenbahn Trail. The Eisenbahn Trail goes south through downtown West Bend to Rusco Road and all the way north to Eden in Fond du Lac County. For more information please visit (http://www.laclawrann.org/about).
Ozaukee Interurban Trail
Trail bridge over the Milwaukee River in Grafton
(Photo Credit: interurbantrail.us)
The Trail is a 30 mile paved trail, that connects the Ozaukee communities of Mequon, Thiensville, Cedarburg, Grafton, Port Washington & Belgium. The majority of the Trail is off-road and perfect for family enjoyment. Views along the trail in the Fall season include hardwood awoodland blazing with vibrant colors.
Explore the trail’s rich history – the route is based on the Interurban railway that once connected Ozaukee County to the City of Milwaukee and Sheboygan by electric train. Run, walk, bike, skate or ski – the trail can be used year-round.
Homestead Hollow County Park – N120 W19809 Freistadt Rd, Germantown
(Photo Credit: Washington County)
The 105 acre park is an old farmstead, and evidence of this can be seen in its barns which have been converted and updated into reservable shelters. Homestead Hollow has 5 very nice level walking trails making it easy for children. The longest trail is 1.7 miles and the shortest is .45 miles. They also have a wonderful sledding hill and ice skating rink in the winter and playground equipment. This was always a favorite park to come to as kids, and now we bring our own children here to explore along with our pets, too! (Remember to keep your pup leashed).
Ice Age Trail – (Southern Holy Hill Segment) Starts at Pleasant Hill Rd. Ends at Donegal Rd.
(Photo Credit: Travel Wisconsin)
The Ice Age trail is extremely long (It covers 1,000 miles across the state of Wisconsin) and is by far the most famous trail in our state. You can hike it all or just parts of it. But no matter if your walk is long or short, you will see gorgeous landscapes that were carved by glaciers. If you have a hiking bucket list, add this one! I’m going to touch on the Southern Holy Hill segment near us in Hubertus. I recommend this hike in the fall. The tree’s colors are amazing and the views from atop Holy Hill are stunning. The Southern Holy Hill segment begins at Pleasant Hill Rd. and travels 4 miles south through the Holy Hill grounds and terminates at Donegal Rd.
Due to the length, I would take older kids or if they’re little wear them in a carrier. We typically put our younger children in backpack carriers when doing lengthy trails. While on this hike, you’ll essentially walk up a large kame (what is called Holy Hill) to a beautiful Basilica. Walk the 150+ stairs to the top of the church to see beautiful views. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Milwaukee!
Are you a regular hiker? Please share your favorite trails with us. We love hearing your experiences!