Photo credit: @bob_b111 on Instagram
Nestled in beautiful Whitnall Park is Milwaukee County’s very own Wehr Nature Center. It’s the perfect destination for a family with young kids looking for easy hiking trails and accessible wildlife watching.
Start at the Visitor Center and drop a donation into the box near the parking lot.
The center is currently closed but you’ll see a Nature Play Space nearby overlooking Mallard Lake.
For kid-friendly hikes, walk down the short hill from the Visitor Center. Turn left for the Lake Loop / Waterfall and turn right for Family Friendly Trail. Check out the Trail Map here.
Lake Loop / Waterfall
Follow the path along Mallard Lake and look for frogs and turtles in the clearings. It’s frog mating season right now so you’ll hear them croaking throughout the hike. Less than a half a mile into your walk, you’ll stumble upon the waterfall into the Root River. It’s a great place to stop for a snack. If your kids are up for it, you can do the entire loop around the lake (1.5 miles), or just turn around and head back to the Visitor Center. We recommend carrying your non-walkers since the path is not stroller-friendly. Bring masks because it’s hard to distance when you pass others on the trail.⠀
Waterfall from Mallard Lake into the Root River at Wehr Nature Center
Family Friendly Trail
If you turn right on the path below the Visitor Center you’ll find a stroller-friendly boardwalk. It’s called Family-Friendly Trail and it’s only .5 miles long. You’ll see beautiful birds and you may spot a wild turkey. Wehr’s website says, “This trail showcases the diversity of Wehr’s natural communities in a family friendly distance. It begins at the Amphitheater and takes you by Mallard Lake, the Wetland, and the Woodland before returning you to the Visitor Center. Benches and photo opportunities are frequent as you walk over level to moderately sloping terrain on paths of wood chips and boardwalk.”
Family Friendly Trail at Wehr Nature Center (.5 mile)
✔️Use the bathroom before you leave the house! There are no restrooms.
✔️Pack sunscreen, bug spray, water, and snacks.
✔️Bring masks – it’s hard to distance properly when you pass people on the paths.
✔️Check for ticks when you get home. ⠀
After The Hike
✔️Relax with some guilt-free screen time. Try ABCMouse.com for free.