7 Stroller-Friendly Hikes Around Milwaukee (2022)

You asked, and we answered!

Many of our readers are looking for stroller-friendly hikes in the Milwaukee area, and we found seven that fit the bill.

All of these hikes have smooth, paved trails that are perfect for an easy hike with your little one.

1. Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum

1449 E Park Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53211

Stroller friendly hike at Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum.
Photo from Instagram, @vshanaya778

The Arboretum is 40 acres of urban nature used as an outdoor classroom, research site and public sanctuary. It’s free for everyone to enjoy, complete with a path accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

Park at the Urban Ecology Center and take a peek at the pond outside the entrance with a people-powered fountain.

Then you can check out the huge stone archway at the entrance of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum. (You can see the archway from the entrance of the UEC building if you look southwest.)

Take the “Walk of 3 Billion years”, a walking path marked with rock sculptures as high as seven feel tall that tell the geological past of Wisconsin.

Starting at the building, go west until you see the first cairn made of 340-million-year-old stone at the gravel drive that leads to the warehouse. Follow the winding path until you find the ninth and final stone structure that’s made from rock over 3 billion years old.

If you want to ditch the stroller, or brave rougher terrain, take a hike through Riverside Park and discover outdoor sculptures and murals (an archway make of iron and steel, a set of sculptures called “Walk like a River” behind the UEC building, a giant concrete frog and raccoon, and a large student-made mural across from the building).

Then, explore the forest and walking paths west of the footbridge. You can also play on the Habitat Playgarden with a sandbox, spider web, & otter slides. (Located at the northeast corner of Riverside Park.)

2. Lakeshore State Park

500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Photo from Instagram, @millioke_photo

It’s Wisconsin’s only urban State Park, and it’s a beaut. Families with young kids will love the accessible paved paths at Lakeshore State Park, and you’ll all enjoy the unobstructed views of our beloved Lake Michigan and the city skyline. 

Lakeshore State Park is an urban oasis located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, adjacent to the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds and Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin. In addition to the paved paths, there is a small beach and a link to the Hank Aaron State Trail. The park is 22 acres!

You’ll see plenty of wildlife at Lakeshore State Park, especially songbirds, shore birds, and waterfowl. You may also see grey and red foxes, mink, woodchucks, muskrats, rabbits, coyote and deer. If you walk around the rock prairie at the south entrance, watch out for Garter Snakes. They are not a threat to humans. If you walk near the rocky shores, you may see some Snapping & Painted Turtles and Bullfrogs laying out in the sun.

The park area used to be part of what was once Lake Michigan, but now it is made up of short-grass prairie habitat. You’ll walk among flowering plants like Butterfly Weed, Purple Coneflower and native grasses. The prairie allows for beautiful views of Lake Michigan and provides a vital habitat for wildlife.

Before or after your hike, stop by the Wind Leaves outside the Discovery World entrance, a series of soaring aluminum columns that rotate with the wind. The Leaves are covered with thousands of stainless steel disks that dance with the wind, creating a kaleidoscope of reflections from the surrounding lake and city skyline. They are surrounded by musical benches that can be played like xylophones and a musical sculpture that you can play by dropping pebbles into it.

Then, head up the stairs at the Art Museum, over the bridge, and into O’Donnell Park, where you’ll find the iconic “The Calling” sculpture & art installations that are a part of Sculpture Milwaukee.

You can also check out the “LOVE” Sculpture behind the Art Museum, located along the lake.

In the Summer months, you can check out the epic new playground at the Northwestern Mutual Community Park.

Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed and under control. Swimming, motorized skateboards, and alcohol are not allowed.

Parking: According to the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, “Free parking is available at the south access road to the Park that starts at the end of Erie Street at the river mouth. Turn left at the end of E. Erie St. Follow the road east under the Hoan Bridge and park on the road shoulder nearest the turn-around at the end of the road.

Near the north entrance, there is limited free parking on N. Harbor Dr. near Summerfest’s north gate, and along Clybourn St. leading up to Discovery World. Parking near the north entrance is extremely limited during the business week and may be closed off during Summerfest Grounds events.

Paid parking is available at the O’Donnell Parking Garage at 910 E Michigan St, across from the Milwaukee Art Museum. Limited paid parking is available at Discovery World during their regular business hours only.”

3. Family-friendly Trail at Wehr Nature Center

701 W College Ave, Franklin, WI 53132

Wehr Nature Center is located in Whitnall Park in Franklin, and presents the perfect family-friendly trail aptly named “Family Friendly Trail.” It’s a short .5 miles, mostly flat, and really beautiful.

The trail begins at the amphitheater and takes you past Mallard Lake, the Wetland, and the Woodland, before taking you back to the Visitor Center. The trail is made of woodsheds and boardwalk and can sustain a stroller.

There’s also a Nature Play Space overlooking the lake, which is a playground constructed with all natural materials.

If you want to go off-roading a bit, you can take the Lake Loop which runs along the shoreline of Mallard Lake to a beautiful waterfall that falls into the Root River.

4. Discovery Trail at Retzer Nature Center

S14 W28167 Madison St, Waukesha, WI 53188

Retzer Nature Center Discovery Trail Stroller Friendly Hike.
Photo from Instagram, @josh_wrx

Even for the littlest feet and stroller users, Retzer Nature Center’s recently renovated “Discovery Trail” is filled with majestic pines, picnic tables, and a variety of “Exploration Stations” for outdoor education, sensory-based play experiences, and STEM activities for families and school groups. 

If you have a heavy duty stroller that can go off pavement and trails, you can also explore “Vista Trail” where you’ll get a good view of Waukesha, and the “Nature Trail” where there are boardwalks and babbling brooks.⠀

Explore a small nature center with fish, small animals, and educational materials, plus many beginner level nature trails perfect for hiking with kids. There’s also a Planetarium with shows that your kids will love.

5. Hawthorn Glen

1130 N. 60th St. Milwaukee, WI 53208

Hawthorn Glen Milwaukee is great for a stroller-friendly hike.

Hawthorn Glen provides the perfect length loop for little legs, and there are posts along the way to teach you about the trees and wildlife in the area.

If you can ditch the stroller to climb the steps towards the back of the property, you’ll get a pretty view of the whole place.

There’s also a playground and a Nature Center to explore.

6. Humboldt Park

3000 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Aerial view of Humboldt Park in Bayview Milwaukee Wisconsin.
Photo from Instagram, @may_flower1

Humboldt Park is one of Milwaukee’s original parks (established in 1890!) and your kids will love exploring its 73 acres.

There’s a lagoon with plenty of geese and wildlife, stroller-friendly walking trails, a pretty gazebo, a large playground, and a wine and beer garden that opens in May.

Fun fact: It was originally named South Park, and you used to be able to rent row boats! Maybe they’ll bring that back one day.

7. Scout Lake

5902 W. Loomis Road

Scout Lake Hike in Greendale is stroller-friendly.
Photo from Instagram, @jessicawenzel

Hidden among the hustle and bustle of Greendale’s downtown area is Scout Lake, a peaceful oasis with lots of wildlife and a paved trail surrounding the entire circumference of the lake. It’s perfect for strollers, skating, and biking. There’s also a playground there.

Up for a drive?

If you’re up for a drive, the one-mile Woodland Dunes Nature Trail at Kohler Andrae State Park is stroller accessible, and it starts and ends at the playground. Fishing Pond Trail is another quarter mile hike with a flat surface for strollers and plenty of resting spots.

For those who are not stroller-bound, the Creeping Juniper Nature Trail starts and ends at the nature center and will immerse you among the sand dunes. ⠀

One of the last remaining nature preserves along Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae State Park is a 45 minute drive from Milwaukee. It offers hikes along sandy beaches and rolling sand dunes, and through pine trees and wildlife. ⠀


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See also:

10 Best Nature Centers Around Milwaukee

35 Best Activities for Three Month Olds

101 Best Things to do in Milwaukee With Kids“.

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