September is arguably the best month of the year for outdoor activities in Wisconsin. The temperature is consistently in the 70’s, the humidity is low, and the air is abuzz with wildlife chatter. Stretch out your summer fun and get outside this month with some outdoor events and amenities in Watertown!
Watertown’s fall Citywide Rummage is on September 17th. The event is held the same weekend every year, and historically the weather has been ideal for outdoor shoppers. Maps can be found in the Watertown Daily Times on the Wednesday prior to the event, or follow the rummage signs that will be placed throughout each neighborhood.
5k Fun – September 17
September is ideal for runners, and that’s why we have two 5k fun runs on the same day in Watertown! On September 17, The Donut Dash 5k and the Heroes for Heroes 5k will be taking place in different areas of the city. Both provide for a good cause, and both get you outdoors in the fresh, September air.
Nationally recognized 1st Brigade Band will play Civil War era music on antique instruments on the grounds of the Octagon House Museum. Enjoy the entertainment for free, and enjoy a plate of cake and ice cream for a $5 donation to the museum.
Keep summer going with delicious homemade ice cream treats from Mullen’s Dairy Bar. This iconic stop has an outdoor eating area so you can soak up the sun while enjoying your cone, malt, sundae, burger, onion rings…you get the idea.
We can’t talk about Zwieg’s Grill without mentioning that they are home to one of the 101 Best Burger’s in America. They make the list year after year, and you can’t make a stop in Watertown without trying one. Why not enjoy it on their outdoor patio?
Watertown is home to two Farmers Markets. Each has an abundance of fresh, local produce. You can also find fresh meats and cheeses, décor, potted plants, fresh popcorn, baked goods, hand-crafted items, and more. The Watertown Farmers Market is held in Riverside Park every Tuesday (May-October) 7am-noon, and the Garden Tales Farmers Market is held every Thursday (August-October) in the N. First Street parking lot, 3-6pm.
Get out the skateboard, bike, or scooter and try some tricks at the Watertown Skate Park. The park features a 120×100 concrete surface with 20 different obstacles for skaters and bikes. Located off of Carriage Hill Drive, adjacent to Watertown High School.
The Rock River Disc Golf Course is a Free, 21-hole Disc Golf Course is fun for all skill levels. Located in beautiful Brandt-Quirk Park, you’ll find a moderately hilly and lightly wooded course. The course is home to several tournaments including the Midwest Masters Age Protected PDGA B Tier, played on Memorial Day weekend. The park is accessible from Endeavour Drive and Carriage Hill Drive.
Rock River Adventures
Now is the perfect time to enjoy the Rock River! Watertown provides four fishing piers, accessible for all abilities. You’ll find two at Riverside Park, another at Fannie P. Lewis Park, and the last at Heron Landing on Oconomowoc Ave.
But don’t just enjoy the river from the shore. Paddle it! Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available for rent through the Watertown Park & Rec Department. The views from the river will not disappoint.
This non-motorized, paved trail starts in the city and travels over the Rock River and into the township of Watertown. The trail includes 2.25 miles of paved trail and a trailhead. At the trailhead you’ll find parking stalls, restroom facilities, a water bottle filling station, bike racks, wayfinding signage, and a bike repair station. This trail cuts right through the countryside, with a bridge taking you over the Rock River. This trail provides another great opportunity to see wildlife and take great photos. The next phase of the trail has already started, which will add another 4.5 miles of trail, taking riders to Hwy F in Ixonia. Construction and paving of phase two are expected to be completed by the end of the year. Bring Fido! This trail is pet-friendly. Walk it, bike it, or rollerblade it! (Trailhead and parking area is on Clark St.)
Dodge County Paved Trail
This off-road paved trail runs along Highway 26, and will take you all the way to Clyman. Enter the trail from Second Street Rd.
Glacial River Trail
This paved trail runs along Highway 26, and will take you to Johnson Creek. Enter the trail on High Road.
This 3.75 mile trail system offers you the options of a gentle stroll, or a little more strenuous hike up wooded hills. Interspersed throughout woods you’ll find the city’s free 21-hole disc golf course. It also includes “Storybook Trail,” where you can enjoy a children’s story, page by page as you travel the path. This is a must for the whole family – including Fido. Brandt-Quirk Park’s pet-exercise trails are a favorite. The fun doesn’t end when the weather turns. You’ll find the trails groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter. Enjoy the tranquil setting of the trail, and then get a little adrenaline rush at the baseball complex, tennis courts, or soccer fields found on the 169-acre property. (Several access points via Carriage Hill Dr. Storybook Trail is accessed by parking in the baseball lot on Carriage Hill.)
Tivoli Island is not only rich with nature, but rich with history! Park on the street and cross the bridge to reach the island. What we know today as a beautiful hike and fishing location was quite a different experience over 100 years ago. From the Natives of the Potawatomi and Winnebago tribes, to the French fur traders that may have used the island as a camp, then to the beautiful summer resort the island became in the 1870’s, rich with celebrations. The island has evolved in its use (and in name) over many generations, and is currently a tranquil path, enticing bird watchers and fisher. Bird enthusiasts Be sure to bring your camera, because the water, wildlife, and dam at the end of the trail are great backdrops for photos! (Park on Tivoli Dr.)
The Brickyard at Heiden Pond
Known for great fishing, you can also enjoy a trail encompassing the exterior of the pond. Bring a camera to capture serene scenes and wildlife. The area is very natural, with a narrow path and lots of trees, plants, and wildflowers. The area is named “The Brickyard” because the path cuts through Lake Victoria and Heiden Pond, which were once filled with the clay that was used to make “Watertown bricks.” It’s a lovely stroll, and you’re sure to see plenty of birds and butterflies. (Park on Clark St., then access via S. 3rd St.)
Robin Kaufmann is the Tourism Manager for the city of Watertown. She eats, sleeps, and breathes travel in her personal and professional life. She is the voice of Watertown Tourism, and the Facebook specialist for Enjoy Jefferson County Tourism.