Seven Bridges Trail
Hiking Trail in Grant Park
Open during regular park hours
Please exercise caution on the trail—especially after heavy rainfall!
NOTE 1/2/14: Staircases are closed for the winter. For more information on access, please call (414) 762-1550
"Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature." As you wind your way through the ravine on unpaved and lannon stone paths, lannon stone staircases, and numerous foot bridges, you'll discover the delights of nature – a carpet of spring wildflowers, the songs of migratory birds, fabulous fall color, the refreshing sound of water rushing in a brook. Following the trails, you'll be led among enormous trees such as the native beech, along creeks, into secluded areas, and onto the shore of Lake Michigan.
In the early 1900s, Frederick C. Wulff, the first Superintendent of Horticulture for the park system, developed paths which served as the foundation of the Seven Bridges Trail. He lived with his family in what is now the park's overnight lodge, grew nursery stock in the Wil-O-Way area, planted many of the non-native trees found in the park, and raised pheasants and geese here.
In the '30s, the trail was further developed as a Works Progress Administration project. It required a crew of over 200 Civilian Conservation Corps workers to construct retaining walls along creek beds and throughout the ravine, and to create lannon stone paths and staircases.
Over the years the trail system declined, but in 1995–96, five young members of the Wisconsin Conservation Corps, trained by Park Maintenance staff, reconstructed damaged sections of the trail, rebuilt staircases and six bridges, added railings and signs, and remodeled the overnight lodge. The covered bridge was renovated by Parks Maintenance staff.
Enter Grant park at South Lake Drive and Park Avenue. Travel about 1/8 mile. On your left (east) are parking spaces with a path leading to the Covered Bridge, the trail's main entrance. The trail is open during regular park hours.
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