Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stairs for Exercise

Forget the stairmaster while the weather is nice.  We have plenty of stairs in the parks that will do just fine on a nice day when you need an extra workout.  Most of the stairs can be found along the beach parks that have a bluff.  An added bonus is that the Oak Leaf Trail goes past or through many of these parks.  And as a double bonus- all of these parks have spectacular sunrises over the lake or city, so if you're inclined to get up early, you may be rewarded with a nice view and cool breezes.

I'll start at the north of the county at Doctor's Park.  If you walk past the playground to the restrooms and go to the far northeast of the upper bluff, you'll find stairs to the bottom.  These are rustic.  There is also a paved roadway, actually there are 2, that come from the parking lot at the north end.

There are two in Whitefish Bay- Big Bay and Klode Park.  Big Bay actually has a ramp that is paved, and a stairway that goes through the woods, which you can access at the beach level.  Klode Park has a paved ramp, but there are also wooden steps.  It's sometimes nice to have an alternative.

Lake Park has maybe the most famous stairs.  Everyone sees them when they drive by because they face Lincoln Memorial Drive.

Atwater Park has a steep set of stairs, but there is also a paved ramp.  I've heard it said, these are the most brutal.  Lots of stairs in quick succession.  Nice views though!

Estabrook Park has a set of stairs that begin at the beer garden and take you to the river.  Though there aren't a lot of stairs, there is added incentive because you can buy yourself a drink when it's all done. There are also bathrooms and a water fountain, which are open when the beer garden is open.

McKinley Park- across the street from it actually.  As you look west, you'll see a very straight set of steep stairs on the hill, but you can park on the street at McKinley and walk over. These steps go into Back Bay Park.

Bradford Beach has a couple sets of stairs across the street, which run between Wahl Avenue at the top (which makes great alternate parking on a busy beach day) to Lincoln Memorial. Some people use the trails up the hill to the hospital for exercise too.

Kilbourn Reservoir Park on North Avenue is the highest park in Milwaukee.  The thing to do here, if you're feeling up to it, is to climb up from one side, do the loop at the top, and go down on the other side of the park.  From at the top, you have maybe one of the best views of the high-rise buildings in Milwaukee.  There are also plenty of benches, so if you tire, you can sit and enjoy the view.
Doctor's Park stairs through the woods

Lake Park

Atwater Park at Shorewood= BRUTAL!
Kilbourn Reservoir Park Stairs West side

Kilbourn Reservoir Park Stairs East side

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