Within minutes north of Milwaukee lies Ozaukee county…a land consisting of many natural Wisconsin treasures. These treasures include many natural areas that provide hiking, bird watching, photography opportunities, camping and even canoeing and kayaking and other outdoor activities. The Treasures of Oz event is held each year to assist in increasing the awareness of these parks and preserves that are available for everyone to enjoy.
Treasures of Oz will be held on June 18ththis year. The 2011 focus is on areas along the Lake Michigan coastline. Each of the sites highlighted this year will have docents and guides available between 9 am and 5 pm. These docents and guides will assist in providing each one an opportunity to get to know the highlights, history and opportunities that are available at that particular location. The treasure sites to explore during this event (listed with the sites closest to Milwaukee) include:
Donges Bay Gorge – Just 9 miles north of the Bayshore Mall area; the most southern point of interest for the Treasures of Oz this year offers opportunities to view an active eagle’s nest (bring your binoculars) and learn about native and invasive species.
Virmond Park – just 12 miles north is part of the Mequon County Park system with trails along the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan filled with great birdwatching opportunities.
Lion’s Den Gorge – a wonderful area that runs along a cliff boundary to Lake Michigan giving you many wonderful views from up above of the beauty of Lake Michigan and it’s surrounding area.
South Beach Kayak and Canoe Launch – a new kayak and canoe launch site located in Port Washington
Sauk Creek nature Preserve – 23 miles north in Port Washington; trails and creeks and falls to explore and enjoy
Forest Beach Migratory Preserve – just miles north of the Bayshore area is the finishing point for the event with a Silent Auction, food and entertainment for everyone. Explore the seven trails that are being developed for different bird habitats.
Harrington Beach State Park – the northern most point of the Treasures sites is approximately 31 miles north of Bayshore area and offers up camping, hiking, biking, cross country skiing as well as historical facts on shipwrecks and Quarry Lake.
Visit Treasures of Oz site to obtain a Treasures of Oz Passport which gives you free parking at all of these sites for this day of fun and facts. Turn this passport in at Forest Beach for a raffle ticket opportunity. Shop the silent auction and many other booth exhibits. Enjoy food brought in from Chuck’s of Thiensville/Smokin Joe’s BBQ and live music entertainment. Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will bring in some raptors for viewing and education.
Check out more trails in your area: Examiner.com's Trail Guide