Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wehr Nature Center- the Perfect Fall Destination

It's officially fall so I'm going to dedicate the next couple of weeks to my favorite fall locations within an hour of Milwaukee.  Today, let's kick it off with Wehr Nature Center.  This center is located in Whitnall Park.  It's one of the smaller nature centers as far as building size goes, but packs a big punch when it comes to activities, mainly due to the 400+ volunteers who plan and participate in events. Admission is free unless it's a special event.  Parking will cost you $3. There's a fantastic gift shop with a variety of gift ideas for anyone who enjoys gardening, nature, hiking, or the outdoors in general.
Look up for some color too
The best place to find out about what's going on is the Friends of Wehr website. Click on upcoming events and you'll see a calendar.  There are some regular adult groups that meet, like the Wild Ones local chapter and the Wehr Photography Club. You can hike every Wednesday morning with the group that hits the trails for exercise, called Hike for Health.  For kids and their adults, check out Little Wonders and NatureNauts- preschool programs that get your kids outdoors and teach them to explore the world around them.

The Wehr Astronomical Society meets monthly and you can follow them on their Facebook page for more information.  They have invited some pretty interesting speakers in the past so if you enjoy anything to do with stargazing or astronomy, check them out.

This weekend is one of my favorite events- Cider Sunday.  It's an annual fundraiser.  Only one day- Sunday, October 4, 11:30-4:30.  Admission is $3, or get an annual membership for $25 individual/$35 family and you pay nothing.  Even parking is free for members.  There are opportunities to make apple cider, listen to music, hike the five miles of trails, bid on silent auction items, and do some crafts with the kids.  Be sure to get a look at the pond some time this season as the trees surrounding it turn color. No fishing is allowed here.  You will likely see a variety of birds, frogs, and turtles.
Kids love cranking the apple press

The other fall event that is really fun and often sells out is the Halloween Haunts.  This night time hike is for kids ages 4-10 (and adults who love to watch kids).  Volunteers dress up and post themselves out in the woods.  You need to purchase tickets in advance and it's held rain or shine.  We've gone a few times and really enjoyed it.

If you are at the nature center, why not hike to the waterfall?  It's very pretty in fall and if we've had much rain, it's really going to flow.  You can actually get down to the bottom of the falls and take some nice photos. Wear a bright color (other than yellow) so you stand out against the fall colors of the trees.

Check out Wehr Nature Center and find out what would make hundreds of people want to volunteer.  I think you'll love what you see!

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