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Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing In Milwaukee

Harrington Beach
Harrington Beach
Photography by Trisha Comardo

Winter in the Milwaukee area continues to provide wonderful hiking opportunities that offers yet another landscape to enjoy in our wonderful MidWest. There are several of the park areas throughout both the Southern and Northern units of the Kettle Moraine forest that remain open for hiking and/or snowshoeing to provide winter challenge for all levels of activity - easy to difficult.

On the more southern and southwestern edges of Milwaukee in the South Kettle Moraine area the following trails remain open for hiking and snowshoeing:

John Muir Trails has some wonderful snowshoe opportunities within 5 loops and 10 miles of trails.

Emma Carlin has 2 to 4 miles of hilly terrain for hikers and snowshoers.

John Muir and Emma Carlin trails are connected with the 5 mile Connector Trail

The Nordic, McMiller, and Scuppernog are all closed for hiking when snow is present as they are maintained only for groomed ski trails.

Just north of Milwaukee (30 to 45 minutes) in the North Kettle Moraine area, the following trails continue to provide winter hiking and snowshoeing:

Greenbush Recreation Area has 7 miles of snowshoe trails.

Moraine Nature Trail is approximately .75miles and is a nice, leisurely easy trail

The Tamarack nature trail, also an easy level hike, is approximately 2 miles.

Parnell Tower trail is a longer hike with more varying degrees of terrain providing the more energetic a 3.5 mile adventure.

Butler Lake also dons a 3.1 mile hike and provides an easy to intermediate hike. Be sure to watch the maps as this one does intertwine with some of the Ice Age Trail and snowmobiling trails.

The Ice Age Trails continue to offer miles of easy to difficult trails for hikers and snowshoers in both the Northern and Southern Units of the Kettle Moraine. Again, be sure to study the maps to know which ones are for snowmobiling.

In the Northern Kettle Moraine, the Greenbush Loop System, the Zilmer Trail and New Fane are groomed for cross country skiing and therefore closed to hikers/snowshoers when snow is present.

Parks such as Harrington Beach Park have trails that offer up easy hiking and snowshoeing but some of the trails share with cross country skiing. Hikers and snowshoers on these trails are required to stay off of the cross country ski trails.

Please note that the trails marked 'nature trails' are closed to pets. Pets should be kept on a leash and controlled on all other trails in order to avoid disrupting other hikers, snowshoers and skiers while on the trails.

For maps and other information on these trails, you can visit the Department of Natural Resources website here.

To get instant updates of new articles by Trisha Comardo, please subscribe at the top of this article. Other articles by Trisha Comardo can be found at Milwaukee Nature Examiner and Milwaukee Photography Examiner.


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