Fitness, Fun & A Commitment to Staying Healthy
Wisconsin residents like to enjoy the outdoors, whether it is at gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches, exploring an abundance of inland lakes, along the Milwaukee River or in the state’s legendary Northwoods. Milwaukee County boasts more than 15,000 acres of public parkland at 140 different county parks. When that does not satisfy their wanderlust, they wander on to Door County, Wisconsin's Northwoods, the Upper Peninsula, the Wisconsin Dells and the Apostle Islands. In Wisconsin, its easy to embrace an active, healthy lifestyle while exploring the state's beauty!
Wellness, physical activity and healthy living are embedded in the region's culture:
- Employers actively promote wellness. Milwaukee is the only city in the nation to twice receive the Well City designation, which is presented by the Wellness Council of America to cities in which there is a high percentage of employers with formal wellness programs. Racine, the second largest city in the region, has also received the designation. In addition, more than 60 area employers have been recognized nationally for their wellness programs.
- A commitment to public parks. Since the days when the state was first settled, civic leaders have been committed to setting aside public areas for citizens and visitors to enjoy. The result is miles of unspoiled lakefront beaches, hiking and biking trails, and dog parks. Milwaukee County alone has more than 140 parks with 15,000 acres of parkland, and many of the parks feature trails, tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools.
- Leadership in health care. Southeastern Wisconsin boasts several integrated delivery systems that have been recognized nationally for their quality and innovation. In addition, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin continually look for ways to improve people's quality of life.
- Active lifestyles. Wisconsin residents like to do things, whether it's hiking, biking, jogging, kayaking or working out at one of the region's many fitness centers. There's plenty of opportunities to get moving and to get outside. And thanks to majestic Lake Michigan and the beautiful topography of southeastern Wisconsin, exercising is as inspiring as it is fun.
Hiking, Biking & Running
There are dozens of trails to tempt you in the region. There are also many organized events where you can compete or just hang out with like-minded individuals.
There are several major biking trails in the region, including the 96-mile Oak Leaf Trail that meanders throughout Milwaukee County, with an extended length along the lakefront; the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a 30-mile, paved path that follows former railroad tracks between Mequon and Belgium in Ozaukee County; the Hank Aaron State Trail, a 13.5-mile paved path from Lake Michigan west to Miller Park; the Glacial Drumlin Trail, which covers 13 miles in Waukesha County near the communities of Dousman, Pewaukee and Waukesha; the Lake Country Recreation Trail that connects the city of Waukesha with the county's "lake country;" the Bugline Trail, a 12-mile path near Menomonee Falls; and the 9.8-mile Lake Michigan Pathway lakeshore trail in Racine.
- UPAF Ride for the Arts: June 4 (Downtown Milwaukee) upaf.org
- Tour of America's Dairyland (TOAD): June 15 - 25 (11 SE Wisconsin communities) tourofamericasdairyland.com
- Riverwest 24 Bike Race: July 28 - 29 (Riverwest Milwaukee) riverwest24.com
- Ride Across Wisconsin: August 19 & 20 (La Crosse to Green Bay) rideacrosswisconsin.com
- Santa Cycle Rampage: December 2 (Wauwatosa-Downtown Milwaukee) wisconsinbikefed.org
POPULAR RUNS, WALKS & TRIATHLONS
- ProHealth Care Walks for Cancer: May 6 (Mukwonago Oconomoc, Waukesha) prohealthcare.org/ways-to-give
- Run/Walk to Milwaukee Irish Fest/Walk to Cure Arthritis: August 19 (Henry Maier Festival Grounds) walktocurearthritis.org/Milwaukee
- Brewers Mini Marathon: September 9 (Miller Park - Menomonee Valley) race-brewers.com
- Briggs & Al's Run & Walk: Sept.16 (Downtown Milwaukee) alsrun.com
- Susan G. Komen® More than Pink Walk: September 24 (Henry W. Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee Lakefront) komenwisconsin.org/walk
- Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon: Oct. 1 (Grafton-Downtown Milwaukee) milwaukeelakefrontmarathon.org
STATE PARKS, FORESTS & TRAILS
In addition to the many county and city parks, southeastern Wisconsin boasts several state parks and trails that offer a range of hiking, biking, and swimming opportunities:
Havenwoods State Forest is Wisconsin's only urban state forest, featuring 237 acres of grasslands, woods and wetlands in the city of Milwaukee.
Lakeshore State Park, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, provides a unique urban oasis with great views of the city and Lake Michigan.
The Hank Aaron State Trail, named in honor of baseball legend Hank Aaron, connects Milwaukee's Miller Park Stadium and the Lake Michigan lakefront.
Lapham Peak, the highest point in Waukesha County, provides excellent hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing, and features a 45-foot observation tower.
Harrington Beach State Park is a 715-acre park with more than a mile of beach along Lake Michigan in northern Ozaukee County, near Belgium.
The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, located near Hartford, includes a 522-acre, spring-fed lake, and Powder Hill, a large glacial kame featuring great views.
Kettle Moraine Northern and Southern Units are comprised of more than 50,000 acres of glacial hills and lakes stretching across the southeastern side of the state.
Glacial Drumlin State Trail stretches for 52 miles through farmlands and glacial topography. The trail travels through 10 small towns from Cottage Grove to Waukesha.
Following is a list of resources for state and local license requirements.
WISCONSIN GO WILD
Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (dnr.wi.gov) offers an online, one-stop license center for key licenses and registrations for both recreational and professional purposes through its Go Wild program. To purchase fishing, hunting or trapping authorities, or for online registration service for boats, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, or off-highway motorcycles, as well as permits, stamps, stickers and passes, login to the Go Wild site at gowild.wi.gov to set up an account and access the customer dashboard and catalog. In addition to licenses and fees, Go Wild also provides information regarding safety education, renewals, recreational vehicle information, harvest reporting for hunters, environment and species information and more. Agents are also available at over 1,000 sales locations throughout the state to assist with your licensing and registration needs.
Contact the appropriate local government regarding fees, rules and regulations. Milwaukee residents, see city.milwaukee.gov/bicyclelicenses for specific information for that municipality or contact the City Clerk - License Division at 414-286-2238 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.