Discover Milwaukee's Wild Side
Milwaukee County Parks cover 15,000 acres, and much of it is teeming with wildlife and native plants. Natural areas include prairie grasslands, woodlands, ephemeral wetlands, and of course, beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.
In 2019 the Milwaukee County park system was designated as an Important Bird Area, one of only 2,700 sites in the United States. Milwaukee County is home to over 100 bird species and another 150 species migrate through the County. The Oak Lead Birding Trail map provides a guide to hotspots. For those new to birding, Wehr Nature Center is the perfect place to start. Pick up identification guides in the nature center or join a birding workshop.
Find a Birding Hotspot
Beaches, Lagoons & Waterways
Watch the sunrise over Lake Michigan, or keep an eye out for visiting ducks and waders at nine beaches in Milwaukee County Parks. Popular spots include Tietjen Beach in Fox Point, the secluded beach at the end of the Seven Bridges Trail and, of course, Bradford Beach in downtown Milwaukee. Lagoons and rivers around the County also provide great opportunities for wildlife watching.
Find a Beach
Forked Aster Trails
Around 30 Forked Aster Trails in county parks offer the ideal way to explore natural areas including maple woods, prairie grasslands and ephemeral wetlands. These soft trails include the county's three designated State Natural Areas: Warnimont Fens, Cudahy Nature Preserve and Franklin Park.
Find a Nature Trail
Get up close and personal with native species by visiting the resident wildlife at Wehr Nature Center in Whitnall Park, or visit Urban Ecology Centers at Riverside Park, Washington Park or Three Bridges Park for nature programming and events.
Read More About Wehr Nature Center
Milwaukee County Parks are home to a wide range of wildlife, from white-tailed deer to prairie crayfish (pictured). Use the iNaturalist website and app to see and record recent wildlife sightings in the parks.
Bees are vital to our ecosystem, as well as the pollination of crops, yet our bee populations are struggling due to high pesticide use. To give bees a boost, we manage several hives at golf courses and parks throughout the County.