If you’re anything like the writers at WhooNEW, by the time March rolls around, you’ve been bitten by spring fever and can’t spend another day indoors.
But where can you go while the sidewalks are still icy? In honor of the first day of spring, here’s a list of five parks in Northeast Wisconsin to check out as the snow thaws.
During a recent visit to Baird Creek, WhooNEW writer/photographer Zak was hoping for a nice, 30-degree (that’s warm by Wisconsin standards) walk on one of the many trails, but instead encountered a light snowfall. He had fun anyway. Although the trails were still a bit snow-covered, visitors were enjoying walking their dogs and pulling their kids on sleds.
The park spans 34 acres and includes a variety of trails both paved and wild. Nestled on Green Bay’s east side, this centrally located destination has an abundance of wildlife. From birds to deer and other animals, including a surly possum, Baird Creek is a must stop to get you moving.
The trails are great at Bay Beach, but let’s face it, you’re really there to see the animals. And they are out and about this time of year, too. You could get a glimpse of this coyote, angrily munching on snow. He’s as ready for spring as you are.
After you snap some photos, you might want to check out the other 700 acres the park has to offer. We’ve seen plenty of deer and birds in the wild here. According to the Wildlife Sanctuary’s blog, you could also run into otters, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and Bald Eagles.
If you have little ones, you might want to check out the birthday party for the animals on March 26. You can find more information by clicking here.
If you are looking for a photographer’s paradise, look no further than Wequiock Falls. In spring, the falls are suspended with dramatic ice formations.
When you first enter the Brown County park, you are shocked at the large ravine that awaits. The Niagara Escarpment rock formation is a great stop year-round, but honestly, a spring visit is worth the muddy boots you’ll leave the park with.
But before you leave Wequiock, don’t forget to take some quick photos with the Jean Nicolet statue. The famed explorer looks rather stoic, but is up for a few goofy snapshots.
If you find yourself in Door County, you’ll definitely want to stop at Cave Point.
The limestone cliffs offer an encouraging sign of spring. As the snow and ice melt, you can almost see Mother Nature chipping away at winter.
Cave Point is a county park that is easy to miss. As you cruise down Highway 57 keep an eye out for signs. If you’re good with directions or relying on a map or GPS, it’s just north of Whitefish Dunes State Park. A two for one stop, especially in summer.
With a simple trail system, Cave Point is best observed at sunrise or sunset. It’s not as much about the hike as it is staying put. The serene views are priceless.
Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin. It spans more than 3,700 acres and has eight miles of dramatic shoreline views.
The ice shoves are one of the biggest draws this time of year. As the ice piles away from the shoreline, it makes for a great photo opp.
But if you are too late to witness the combustion of winter and spring, there is plenty to take in at Peninsula. The intricate trail system offers a variety of options for beginning and skilled hikers.
Eagle Trail (a 2 mile loop) is tops in our book. The landscape feels more like that of a J.R.R. Tolkien work than that of Northeast Wisconsin. As you wind your way past the towering trees and through the rocky pathways, you’ll encounter amazing sites, including an ancient sea cave nested in the bluffs.
Trail Tramper’s Delight (a .5 mile trail) is great for beginners and has a lot to offer. This hike is one of the most refreshing ways to get to the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. Constructed in 1868, this landmark is worth the price of admission alone.
So what about you? What are your favorite trails in Northeast Wisconsin? Make sure to check out the slideshow below for more photography from trails in Green Bay, Door County and in between.
Slideshow – Five Trails in Northeast Wisconsin