It won't be a bigger problem to find one
During the formulative years, video games we
It won't be a bigger problem to find one
America has a long and proud history of embracing nature as part of its cultural identity. From Colonial times through the American Revolution and the push westward, Americans have been in love with the expansive and seemingly boundless promise of the North American landscape.
It inspired the Transcendentalist movement spearheaded by essayists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who emphasized the importance of reconciling our conceptions of self and liberty with the sense of universal transcendence and unity as embodied by nature.
Walt Whitman would play with ideas such as those in “Song of Myself” and the other poems in his immortal Leaves of Grass in 1855, one of the most important works in the development of quintessentially “American” Literature.
What’s more, when Americans looked for ways to express their disappointment, disdain, and anxiety at the socio-economic and psychological apocalypse that was the Great Depression, nature again took center stage. From the famous picture of a concerned Great Depression, “Migrant Mother” to Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the natural desolation of the Dust Bowl mirrored the country’s collective emotional state.
And, of course, when the nation rose from the ashes of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, nature was again at the forefront, resulting in increased environmental awareness, new national parks, and so much more.
All of which goes to say that loving and preserving nature is as American as it gets, which is why Kenosha is so proud to be home to some of the greatest spots for nature walks in not just Wisconsin, but the entire Midwest.
The St. Croix River remains one of the most beloved natural landmarks in the region, with some of the strongest pushes for conservation coming with the goal of protecting this beautiful tributary and the surrounding area.
The Chiwaukee Prairie and Kenosha Dunes feature some of the lushest and lovely prairie lands in the state. New Munster is a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts, bird watchers, and animal lovers of all stripes. Petrifying Springs Park, known to locals as “Pets,” is the oldest park in the Kenosha system, and remains a treasured part of the community.
All of these places and many like them around the Kenosha area perfectly embody that idea of peace, tranquility, and transcendence as exemplified by Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, all while remaining distinctly Wisconsin.
Like the best Transcendentalist works, these nature walks are a perfect example of finding harmony between the unique and the universal, one’s own individuality, as well as their place within the grand scheme of things in nature.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most peaceful nature walks in Kenosha, and what makes each of them special and transcendent.
Few things speak to Middle America quite like wide open prairies. We’ve mythologized the open plains as a permanent reservoir of freedom and a pathway to the West. The days of wagons headed west may be long past, but places like Chiwaukee Prairie help keep that memory alive.
Home to dozens of different species of grass and birds, the area has been incorporated into the National Park Service system as a National Natural Landmark.
With 260 acres of incredible landscapes, Silver Lake Park sets itself apart by being open and offering something for visitors year-round. The nature trails offer great hiking throughout the year, while the biking and ski trails are likewise open during part of the year.
What’s more, this Kenosha nature walk offers an 18-hole disc golf course as well, giving you a great opportunity to get your frisbee game on.
This is a massive wildlife area in the Western portion of Kenosha County, boasting an impressive 1226 acres to its name. This is a great place for those who like to take a stroll along riversides, as both Palmer Creek and New Munster Creek empty into the nearby Fox River.
As the “wildlife” part of its name implies, there is a wide range of different animal life in this area as well, including long- and short-eared owls as well as horned owls, brown creepers, nuthatches, and golden-crowned kinglets.
This is a nature walk that’s replete with activities. If you’re looking for more than a mere stroll in the woods but rather full-on activities, this is the spot for you.
Flanked by lovely hardwood forests, this nature walk features, among other things, a baseball diamond, barbeque areas, chess tables, a dog park, an 18-hole golf course, and many more areas that are perfect for spending a lazy summer afternoon with friends or going on a company picnic.
This is a private prairie and arboretum area, looked after since 1988 by The Friends of Hawthorn Hollow. They work to preserve the stunning natural beauty of the 40 acres which fall within the sanctuary’s bounds.
Here you’ll find everything from stunning trees and flowers within the Arboretum area to the Charles and Kathryn Heide Schoolyard Observatory, which boasts an automated dome housing a Meade LX200 – ACF 16″ telescope. If you’re looking to do a little stargazing on clear summer nights, this is a great place to do it.
This is a nice, casual, no-frills park that’s perfect for laid-back summer weekends. At 200 acres, it’s large enough to be comfortably spacious without being so huge as to be overwhelming. What’s more, it puts every inch of those 200 acres to good use, boasting a playground, biking trail, areas for cross country skiing, and much more.
At more than 4,500 acres in size, this is one of the largest nature walk areas you’ll find in the state of Wisconsin. Richard Bong State Recreation Area puts all of that land to great use, with its vast prairie lands being used for a wide range of activities, including camping, swimming, and ATV sports.
In addition, the area is notable for being a popular site for animal-related activities, including dogsledding, horseback riding, and falconry.
We’ve already mentioned the Fox River, into which the Palmer and New Munster creeks empty. The river itself is home to its own intriguing nature walk, this one a water trail.
This is another nice example of a park that offers something for everyone. Brighton Dale Park stretches out over 500 lovely green acres and boasts space for a wide range of activities, from baseball fields to trails for walking and biking to a golf course.
At a lithe 11 acres, this is the smallest nature area on our list, but as is so often the case in life, big things come in small packages. As the name implies, this is a natural favorite for lovers of seaside fun in the sun come
Eichelman Park and Beach sit on the shores of Lake Michigan, offering a great opportunity to relax and watch the waves go by, or go for a dip when the weather and water are just right. In addition to the beach area, there’s a lovely playground as well, making this a great all-around destination for families looking to enjoy waterside fun.
The 69 acres that
Follow the Sculpture Walk and enjoy an optimized path around these unique artistic statements. This park is a popular place for community events, with festivals being held there throughout the year. What’s more, with its spot on the Lake Michigan shoreline, this is another great choice for those who have a love for lake life.
Last but not least, we have a place that has more than a little bit of history to it. Kemper Center County Park got its start as the site of the home of Senator Charles Durkee in 1861. That Civil War-era mansion is still around today.
An Episcopal girls school was also built near the site in 1871. Over time, the Anderson Arts Center was added as well. Today, the whole center and park area offer a glimpse into Kenosha’s past along with examples of its ever-present beauty, including a lovely fountain, arboretum, biking trails, and a lush verdant atmosphere from end to end.
Visit learnkenosha.com to find more places just like these.
All of these places offer their own unique twists, and all of them fit in seamlessly with the Kenosha area. In the grand Transcendentalist tradition, they offer visitors an experience which connects them with both a greater sense of self, as well as the majesty and beauty of something beyond themselves – and isn’t that what a walk through nature is supposed to do?