As the weather warms up, the sun lingers later in the day, and we begin to pull ourselves from our cozy couches, make note of these favorite spring hikes to get you out and about. They offer, not only a chance to finally stretch your legs in warmer temps but the beauty of early spring on the trails. Grab picnic goodies from Jones Market, SweetSpot Cafe, or Staller Estate Winery, boot up, and head out to enjoy the new growth!
These easy 1-2mi loops take you through woodlands, wetlands, and prairie. Early spring provides wide, unobstructed views of the 110 acres and new growth in the prairie. Picnic on the observation deck just off the trail that begins near Perkins Stadium or at any number of the benches on the outskirts of the preserve off of Schwager Dr.
UW-Whitewater Nature Preserve
This easy 1.5-2mi loop is a gem in the spring because hikers get a view of the new ground cover and moss-covered rocks along the trail. Rice Lake is highly visible in early spring throughout the entire trail since there’s no summer overgrowth yet. If you head out in June, that’s an ideal time to spot the eerie Ghost Pipe. Enjoy your picnic atop the lookout tower as you take in the beauty of the budding birches and their reflection in the water across the lake.