Ice formations along Lake Michigan are absolutely gorgeous this time of year! So are frozen waterfalls, though you may have to travel a little farther to find those. Check out these locations before they melt away:
1. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
1111 E. Brown Deer Rd., Bayside, WI 53217
Start at the Nature Center and head down to the lake to see impressive ice formations. Or, stick to the snowy trails and forests, following the boardwalk by Mystery Lake or Mystery Pond to see other ice phenomena below the surface of the frozen water. You may notice a number of intricate formations at various depths in the ice, including suspended bubbles, spherical and crystalline shapes, and rings surrounding partially submerged branches.
2. Doctors Park
1870 E. Fox Ln., Fox Point, WI 53217
Park in the main lot by the playground, and take the path on the east side of the lot leading down to the beach. It’s all downhill and tree-covered on the way there, and you’re rewarded with beautiful rocks, driftwood, and amazing ice formations at Tietjen beach. Fair warning: It gets *really* cold by the water. Wear layers!
3. Atwater Park
4000 N. Lake Dr., Shorewood, WI 53211
Warm up at the playground, and say hello to the thinking man statue. Careful taking the impressive, steep staircase down to the beach! You’ll be rewarded with gorgeous ice formations.
4. Bradford Beach
2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Milwaukee’s most well-known beach is home to some of the most beautiful wintry scenes. A quick comb of the shore offers stunning views of icicle-lined trees and rocks glazed in ice.
5. Seven Bridges
Grant Park Dr., South Milwaukee, WI 53172
Set along the shores of Lake Michigan, the babbling brooks, lannon stone paths, foot bridges, and huge beech trees make this area feel like an enchanted winter wonderland.
The trail starts at the Covered Bridge entrance. Find it by entering off of Lake Drive. The main loop will take you down to the beach and back, and is just half a mile total. To access it, find the stairway to the left of the Covered Bridge entrance, and take the stairs down. Then follow the path all the way to the lakefront.
6. Wehr Nature Center
9701 W. College Ave., Franklin, WI 53132
Yep, this waterfall is right here in Milwaukee County. You’ll find it at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin. Take the Lake Loop, which runs along the shoreline of Mallard Lake and right to this waterfall into the Root River.
You can also explore the short and flat “Family Friendly Trail” which will take you through beautiful winter woodlands. You may even come face to face with a wild turkey.⠀
7. Sauk Creek Nature Preserve
3236 Co Rd KK, Port Washington, WI 53070
The layers of rock below the creek change the water flow to create interesting looks. A bridge allows easy access to the creek.
8. Granite Falls
11-31 E Montello St, Montello, WI 53949
There are four falls in Daggett Memorial Park, and each one is part of an historic granite quarry (hence the name). The water stays warmer longer at the bottom, so there’s still water running underneath the frozen top layer.
9. Wequiock Falls
3426 Bay Settlement Rd, Green Bay, WI 54311
One of Brown County’s smaller parks, Wequiock Falls contains a picturesque waterfall fed by Wequiock Creek. The flow slows during the dry summer season, but once winter arrives it picks up again, creating gorgeous frozen falls.
10. Fonferek’s Glen
2825 Dutchman Rd., Green Bay, WI 54311
This waterfall is one of the easier ones to access, as it’s just a 100-yard walk from the parking lot. It’s even more impressive in winter than in summer as the ice continues to build.
11. Stephens Falls (Governor Dodge State Park)
4175 WI-23, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Looking for a fun winter day trip? Head to Governor Dodge State Park and make the 0.3-mile out-and-back hike to Stephens Falls. Formed by a nearby natural spring, these 20-foot falls have a steep face resulting in stunning ice formations. There’s a parking area near the trail’s head.