Saturday, January 5, 2013

Havenwoods State Forest- winter hiking and wildlife

Although there isn't really enough snow for snowshoeing at Havenwoods, it's still a great place to go when the sun is shining.  You can usually see some wildlife and hike in the 237 acres of woods, wetlands, and grasslands. An environmental awareness/nature center  is open week days and Saturday, where you and the kids can learn about animal footprints and then go onto the trails to see if you can find animal tracks.  The first time I tried to find this lovely state park in Milwaukee, I used my GPS and found it futile.  If you go there and are unfamiliar, it's best to follow the directions from the DNR's website, "Havenwoods State Forest is on the north side of Milwaukee, one block west of Sherman Boulevard on Douglas Avenue. From West Silver Spring Drive, turn north onto North Sherman Boulevard. At the second stoplight, turn left (west) on Douglas Avenue. After one short block, you will be at the Havenwoods entrance. Continue up the hill to the parking lot and nature center",  and use the trail map from their website as well, or pick up one at the nature center.

This is an exception to the state park rules, in that you don't need a state vehicle pass to come to Havenwoods.

There is a friends of Havenwoods group that also plans events here.  I see on their website, they will be doing a bird program in February.  They also arrange winter family hikes.  Lots of urban fun here!
If you go to the nature center first, you can borrow binoculars, hiking booklets, geocaching information, and even snowshoes or GPS.  They offer a few amphibians on display too.  This is a great place to go as families when the kids are bored this winter.


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