Soccer game at noon, can I squeeze in a hike? Yep! I just need to find somewhere close to home.
Well Known, But Hidden Gem
Most folks in the Northshore area of Milwaukee know about Kletzsch Park. From the waterfall to the sledding hill and soccer fields, many of us have been there to take in its amenities. BUT, I did NOT know about the hiking trail that spans for miles (and continues out of the Park) until this past February.
Kermit Are You Here?
Considering the last time I hiked here, ice started to form on my hair, the lush greenery was welcoming. I kept looking for one of my childhood favorites, but he never hopped by me. On past hikes, I had seen Trillium…one here….one there, but here there were so many of them packed together. Mayapples added to the green ground and American Black Currant with its delicate yellow flowers were starting to open. This part of the trail is the most crowded with folks heading to fish as well as others taking in a short walk. But, I think it’s worth it to start here to see the variety of flowers and greenery.
Follow the Flow
The trail crossed a small bridge and continues to follow the Milwaukee River. I took note of a sign “Milwaukee Urban Water Trail” near the water and soccer fields to the other side. Funny, I went to games here when the kids were little and never knew there was a trail! Tons of geese were squawking in the field and Maxie was on high alert. Unlike the Ice Age Trail, many small trails zig-zag through the area. As long as you follow the river, you won’t get lost! I ended up a bit further away and enjoyed the lush forest surrounding me. I came across a patch of Creeping Buttercup. While they were gorgeous, apparently they are invasive and are poisonous …yikes! You may wonder how I know the names of all these flowers, believe me, I am NOT an expert. I have an app called Picture This. It seems to be spot on for every plant I have identified.
Bridge and Back
I made it to the Green Tree bridge. I have driven over it several times and didn’t realize there was a beautiful stone on the sides. I took the path adjacent to the river most of the way back. The river was so calm. Geese were swimming and didn’t seem to mind that we were watching them. I saw more Trillium and a yellow Avalanche Lily. The lily was so unique, just on its own, getting ready to open up. It was a short hike, about 2 miles. But, I was immersed in nature for that time and enjoyed every minute.
And that, my friends, is today’s Tail from the Trail.
Trail: Mix of dirt and rock
Trail type: Out and Back (1 mile each way to the Green Tree bridge and then back)
Parking: Lot at the trailhead
We started across from the archery field by the number 8 on this map. There is a sign that says Nature Trail. We followed the Forked Aster Hiking Trail in orange to start. Then it looks like it loops (according to the map), but another trail called the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail starts so you can stay near the river the whole time. Closer to Green Tree Rd, there is another sign for Milwaukee County Parks. Just stay by the river!
Bathroom facilities: Yes, there was a porta-potty available seasonally
Dog Friendly: Yes, must be leashed at all times. BYOB Bring Your Own (Poop) Bag! I did not see any bag dispensers. Please carry out your dog’s poop!
Be sure to walk or drive a bit south down Milwaukee River Parkway to see the falls. They are worth going a wee bit out of your way to see.