Mequon Nature Preserve: A Year-Round Oasis for Families (2024)

This blog post is brought to you in partnership with the Mequon Nature Preserve. Together, we are dedicated to promoting outdoor education and fun for families in southeastern Wisconsin.

If you’re looking for a place to immerse yourself in the beauty of Wisconsin’s great outdoors, look no further than the Mequon Nature Preserve (MNP).

Mequon Nature Preserve boasts 510 acres of natural beauty and 6 miles of trails.

Nestled at 8200 W County Line Rd, Mequon, WI 53097, this hidden gem is a must-visit for any nature lover in the southeastern Wisconsin area.

MNP boasts 510 acres of natural beauty and 6 miles of hiking trails. The trails are free and open every day of the year, offering an array of activities that cater to all ages and interests.

Most of the trails at Mequon Nature Preserve are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

Whether you’re into hiking, running, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely walk, MNP’s trails have got you covered.

And guess what? They’re dog-friendly and mostly ADA-friendly too, so no one gets left behind!

Unique Attractions

Observation Tower

Standing at 40 feet high, the Observation Tower is a must-visit spot within MNP.

The observation tower at MNP is a quick 1 mile hike from the main parking lot.

It offers a panoramic view of the entire preserve and the skyline of downtown Milwaukee on clear days.

Equipped with free telescopes and a Chronolog photo point monitoring system, it’s a perfect spot for nature photography and observing the landscape.

The 40-foot observation tower is equipped with free telescopes.

The Observation Tower is a quick 1.0 mile hike from the main parking lot and back.

Marty’s Playspace

Located behind the PieperPower Education center, this playspace is a dream come true for children who love the outdoors. Made with natural, locally sourced materials, it encourages imaginative play and interaction with the natural world.

Marty’s Playspace is made from all natural materials.

It’s a great place for kids to climb, jump, and run freely in a safe, outdoor environment.

You can enter the play space through the custom wooden door structure. Your kids will find log balance beams, a 16-foot dragon toy, a turtle made from stones, log steps, a hammock station (you’ll need to bring your own), human-sized birds nests, a lost climbing beam, plenty of shaded areas, and rocks to climb and sit on.

Plus, a local Eagle Scout made two sensory boards to demonstrate the different textures that can be found in nature.

All of the materials in the play area are natural and locally sourced, including pressure-treated lumber, green and white ash logs and European Alder harvested from MNP land restoration projects, ironwood logs from MNP wood lots, Lannon Stone from Halquist Stone in Sussex, and granite boulders from northern Wisconsin.

Adventure Backpacks

Available from April to October, these backpacks are packed with tools and instructions for a self-guided adventure through MNP’s forests, prairies, and wetlands.

It’s an excellent way for families to explore and learn about nature at their own pace.


With free snowshoe checkouts available during the snowy months, visitors can enjoy a unique winter experience.

Snowshoeing is a fun, active way to explore the preserve’s trails covered in snow. Email Amanda to reserve your pair. (Email:

The Rig

An innovative addition to MNP, The Rig is an off-road, electric-powered wheelchair offering accessibility to those with limited mobility.

It opens up the beauty of the preserve to everyone, ensuring inclusivity in outdoor adventures. Email Cory to reserve. (Email:

Hammock Station

Located at Marty’s Playspace, this is a serene spot for relaxation. Visitors can bring their hammocks, set them up, and enjoy a peaceful time amidst nature, watching butterflies and birds.

The hammock station is located in Marty’s Playspace.

Observation Platforms

These platforms are strategically placed for a closer look at the preserve’s ponds and wetlands.

They are excellent spots for nature photography and observing wildlife, offering unique perspectives on the preserve’s diverse ecosystems.

For good wildlife watching, park near the Pieper Power Education Center, and find the Observation Platform along the Streich Family Wetlands.

Plan Your Visit

A visit to the Mequon Nature Preserve is an experience steeped in nature and learning. Here’s all you need to know to make your trip seamless and enjoyable:

Admission and Hours

  • Admission: The best things in life are free, and so is admission to the Mequon Nature Preserve! There’s no charge to explore this natural haven.
  • Trail Hours: Open from sunup to sundown, the trails at MNP welcome you every day of the year. Whether you’re an early bird or a sunset chaser, the preserve’s beauty is yours to enjoy.

Location and Parking

  • Address: The preserve is located at 8200 W County Line Rd, Mequon, WI 53097. It’s easily accessible and well-signposted.
  • Parking: Three parking lots are available for your convenience — on Swan Road, Donges Bay Road, and County Line Road. Each provides easy access to the trails.

PieperPower Education Center

  • Hours: The center is a hub of learning and exploration. It’s open from 10:00am-2:00pm (October-April) and 9:00am-2:00pm (May-September), Monday through Friday.
  • Features: Inside, you’ll find a small library, live animals in tanks, and other educational exhibits. It’s a great place to start your visit, especially if you’re keen to learn more about the preserve’s wildlife and ecosystems.
The PieperPower Education Center is a great place to start and end your visit.

Mobile App for a Guided Experience

  • Download the App: Enhance your visit with MNP’s free mobile app. Available on the Apple Store and Google Play, the app provides a trail map and tons of information about the preserve. It’s like having a personal guide in your pocket!

Dog-Friendly Trails

  • Bring Your Pooch: Dogs are welcome at MNP! Just remember to keep them on a leash and clean up after them, in line with local ordinances.


  • Whether you’re maneuvering a wheelchair, pushing a stroller, or need a more stable walking path, our trails are designed to be inclusive.
  • ‘The Rig’ is na off-road, electric-powered wheelchair that ensures that mobility limitations don’t keep anyone from experiencing nature.

Be Prepared!

  • Always prepare for your outdoor adventures by checking the weather, dressing appropriately, and bringing necessary supplies like water, snacks, and a first-aid kit.

Year-Round Events

Mequon Nature Preserve offers many family-friendly events throughout the year. These events are free to attend. You can stay updated on their website and social media pages.

Winter Frolic

Celebrate winter on Saturday, February 3, with two sessions – one from 10:00am-12:00pm and another from 1:00-3:00pm. This event includes sleigh rides, s’mores, and a variety of winter activities. Sign up for a session here.

Maple Sugar Tapping

Join the MNP staff on Saturday, February 24th at 1:00pm in Elton’s Woods for an interactive maple tree tapping experience. Email Amanda to reserve a spot for your family! (Email:

Summer Playdate

A fun-filled summer event for families, the date for this event will be announced closer to summer.

Monarch Tagging

Participate in the tagging of monarch butterflies, with dates to be announced as it depends on the migration patterns.

Habitat Haunting

A unique, nature-themed event blending outdoor exploration with a hint of spookiness, set around the Halloween season. Specific dates to be confirmed.

Craft and Storytime

Designed for preschoolers and their caregivers, join us as we read books, hike (weather-permitting), and do a craft together.

This monthly event is scheduled for:

  • January 16th
  • February 13th
  • March 19th
  • April 23rd
  • May 21st
  • June 25th
  • July 23rd
  • August 27th
  • September 24th
  • October 22nd
  • November 26th
  • December 17th All sessions start at 10:00 am.

Woodcock Wander

Witness the woodcock’s breeding rituals with local bird expert Dan Panetti on Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00pm. Rain date is set for April 24th. Go to the MNP website to sign up!

Note: Some events like the Summer Playdate and Monarch Tagging are seasonal and dependent on environmental factors. For the most up-to-date information on these and other events, it’s always a good idea to check MNP’s website or contact them directly.

Whether you’re seeking a family adventure, a peaceful escape in nature, or an educational outing, the Mequon Nature Preserve is a beautiful option.

Check out their website at Mequon Nature Preserve for more information and to plan your adventure.

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