• Beautiful, festive gardens

    I thought it was going to be really cold for our last walk of 2013, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sun – it was a perfect day to finish out the year!

    A group of about 25 joined me in Janesville at the Rotary Botanical Gardens and we set out on our 2-mile walk of the Spring Brook Trail. We were all bundled up in our hats, mittens and scarves, which kept us plenty warm to enjoy the beautiful scenery as we walked along the trail. The Spring Brook Trail, which is part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, one of only 11 national scenic trails in the country. As we walked I kept thinking to myself ‘I can’t believe this trail is right in my own backyard.’

    Tue, 11/12/2013

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  • Breathtaking views in Trempealeau

    It was a wonderful afternoon to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views that Perrot State Park has to offer.

    We met at the Nature Center where John Carrier, a park naturalist and our trail guide for the afternoon, gave me a brief tour of the center and a few displays. He also gave me my very first burl souvenir with a laser cut Perrot State Park logo. This was so kind and thoughtful. I love it!

    Tue, 10/22/2013

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  • Brisk, beautiful and peaceful

    The morning started out a little chilly, but the air was so crisp and fresh – great day for walking! 

    When I arrived at the Education Center Liz Herzmann, Wildlife Conservation Educator, gathered a small group of us in an amazing viewing area to tell us a bit about the history of the facility. The building was actually purchased by the Department of Natural Resources in 1992 and was a Flyway Clinic. After it was purchased they made plans to expand the building to serve as an education center, as well. A friends group, that raises money and volunteers their time on a regular basis, was formed to help the expansion effort. Through the help of the friends group they were able raise enough money to start construction of the new education center in 2007, and completed in 2009. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is such a fabulous facility, indoors and outdoors. After the brief history we were led downstairs to watch a video and get a better understanding of some of the wildlife we might see on our walk. After watching the video I was so excited to get outside and see some of the wildlife mentioned!

    Mon, 09/16/2013

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  • Beauty in my own backyard

    Another successful walk at The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is in the books! We had such a great crowd join us as we walked our way through a two-mile loop of the nature center.

    Don Quintenz guided our walking group. This was great because he was so passionate about sharing information about the nature center and everything it has to offer. As we walked the trail I remember thinking to myself “I can’t believe this beautiful, natural habitat is so close to downtown Milwaukee.” This is one reason why I love partnering with the Department of Tourism because they always know where to find the hidden gems, and sometimes they are right in our own backyard! About half way through our walk we were led to a stretch of beach that was right along Lake Michigan. It was so beautiful and calming. After our stroll along the beach we climbed up some stairs and resumed our path, which had many lakes and ponds with turtles scattered all over the logs. Take a look at the pictures! Along the way there was also a 60-foot observation tower. This provided us with a beautiful view of the lakeshore and surrounding community.

    Thu, 09/05/2013

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  • A glimpse into the past

    Boy it was hot! We just did a walk in the beautiful city of Green Bay, WI. We walked through two parks in one day:  Heritage Hill State Park in the morning and the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in the afternoon. We were able to find a lot of shade along the way and there was a nice cool breeze. The Mayor’s office of Green Bay provided us with plenty of water to get through the day. Thank You Mayor Jim Schmitt!

    It was a great day for a tour and walk through Heritage Hill State Park.  I would highly recommend this park, as it has a lot to offer for people of all ages! Heritage Hill State Park was constructed in 1977 to bring all of the historical buildings of Green Bay together. Today, there are more than 25 buildings on these wonderful 15 acres of land to help educate and entertain all who visit the park, including the first court house in Wisconsin!

    Thu, 07/25/2013

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  • Three days of waterfalls, beaches, hills

    Phew! I just finished up a three-day Walk with Walker WAY up north in Mellen, Madeline Island and Hayward, WI. All of the parks we visited and walked were spectacular!

    Our first walk was a 1.7-mile loop on “The Doughboys’ Trail” in Copper Falls State Park. We all gathered at the parks concession stand before hitting the trail. Ben Bergey, our trail guide, led us down a cobble stone path onto the trail and immediately started explaining the rich history behind the park and trail. The trails and bridges in the park were built by returning WWI veterans, nicknamed “Doughboys,” before the land was officially a state park. As we continued on the trail, following the Bad River and Tyler Forks, the views of the falls and cascades were breathtaking. You could definitely see how the park was named “Copper Falls.” It was fascinating to learn how the pouring lava resulted in such beautiful falls and rock formations. We had to brave some steep, scary stairs to see all of the spectacular views, but it was so worth it!  

    Tue, 06/18/2013

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  • "Trailing" through the Northwoods

    I always say “rain or shine we will walk,” but I am so glad that the bad weather held off for our two-day walk up north. I wish I could say the same about the mosquitos. I sprayed myself head-to-toe with bug spray – twice!

    We set out on an early evening walk from the boat landing at Bradley Park in Tomahawk. As we walked the winding shores of Lake Mohawksin we saw lush greenery and many turtles “sun bathing” on logs. Lake Mohawksin, part of the Wisconsin River system, was named after three rivers. “Mo” from the Somo River, “hawk” from the Tomahawk River and “sin” from the Wisconsin River. The trail was a bit hilly at some points, but we had many young walkers that joined us from the Kinship Care program so they had plenty of energy to tackle the steep parts! They also had the idea to venture out on a dock – as you’ll see in the photos – that most of us adults weren’t so sure about. Representative Mary Czaja also joined us on the walk, which was so nice of her! 

    Fri, 05/24/2013

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  • Fresh air, wind in the hair

    Brr! We were welcomed to Baraboo this morning by chilly winds and an overcast sky. I was so excited to kick-off my first walk this year, and pleasantly surprised at the group of people who came out to walk with me along the River Walk trail. We had about 40 people to take on the 2-mile walk.  

    As you may already know, my father passed away on Easter Sunday. Being able to continue this walk as planned was a great way to honor my dad. Our walk was a nice, even route alongside the Baraboo River. There were several benches along the trail so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views. I especially loved the sound of the flowing river and chirping Cardinals. There may still be snow on the ground, but the Cardinals were a sure sign of Spring! Along the trail we saw a couple of deer too!

    Mon, 04/08/2013

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  • Surprisingly Sunny in Stevens Point!

    I was pleasantly surprised with an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, calm, and relatively warm day for this last walk of 2012 – it was the perfect way to end a year of walking all throughout this beautiful state!

    We gathered at the Stevens Point Visitors Center before heading across the street to begin our walk at the trailhead of the Green Circle State Trail. Even with the leaves mostly all fallen, it was a beautiful trail. I can’t even imagine how nice it is during summer and the peak of fall!

    Wed, 11/21/2012

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  • October Glory

    We just wrapped up another fabulous fall walk, this time at the UW Arboretum in Madison, which really took us into a unique piece of Wisconsin’s history. As you can see, the colors were amazing, but after walking the grounds I am certain the Arboretum is beautiful all year round!

    We were led by the Arboretum’s naturalist, Kathy, who was incredibly knowledgeable. It was a treat to have her guiding us and teaching us about the plants, history, and ongoing maintenance of the land. One of the most interesting pieces of information Kathy shared with us was that in June of 1934, this land became the world’s first to be restored to its natural state of prairie vegetation and wildlife!

    Tue, 10/16/2012

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