Take a hike! (In a good way). Jefferson County is all about outdoor recreation, and Watertown has several opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors while getting in your steps. From paved, stroller-friendly trails, to an inclined wooded path, there’s a trail for every hiking, running, and walking enthusiast.
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. Brandt-Quirk’s trails are a must for the whole family – including Fido. The 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.)
Photo credit Abby Streicher
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 hiking 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 nature 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.)
Photo courtesy of Watertown Historical Society
Photo credit Joy Meyering
The Brickyard at Heiden Pond
Known for great fishing, you can also enjoy a trail encompassing the exterior of the Heiden 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.)
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 August. Bring Fido! This trail is pet-friendly. Walk it, bike it, or rollerblade it! (Trailhead and parking area is on Clark 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.