Oak Leaf Trail
The Oak Leaf Trail is a multi-use trail system with over 135 miles of trail for cycling, roller blading, walking, birding and running around Milwaukee County. Nearly a quarter of the trail hugs the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. The trail system is mostly smooth asphalt, with dozens of easily accessed connections that take you just about anywhere in the Milwaukee metro area. Portions of the trail are on Milwaukee County parkways, shared with traffic, and some sections use municipal streets.
- Trail Etiquette
Explore the Oak Leaf Trail
The Oak Leaf Trail is divided into seven main 'branch lines', as well as two scenic loops and two east-west connectors.
Menomonee River Line
Starting from Dretzka Park in the northwest corner of the County, the Menomonee branch follows the Little Menomonee River Parkway and the Menomonee River Parkway. The trail passes through Currie Park and Hoyt Park before reaching downtown Wauwatosa. The branch line then follows the Honey Creek Parkway past Jacobus Park and on to Doyne Park.
Dretzka Park - Doyne Park. Approx. 14.75mi
This east-west section connects Wauwatosa with downtown Milwaukee. The trail passes through Jackson Park and McCarty Park following the Kinnickinnc River Parkway, and uses sections of the Honey Creek Parkway to connect with the Menomonee Line in Wauwatosa. The line connects with the Hank Aaron Trail at State Fair Park.
Museum Campus - Hart Park. Approx. 15mi
Root River Line
The south western section of the Oak Leaf Trail travels from Hansen Park in Wauwatosa down to the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin. The trail connects with the Hank Aaron State Trail on Underwood Creek Parkway and the New Berlin Trail in Greenfield Park. The trail follows the Root River parkway for much of the trail.
Hansen Park - Milwaukee County Sports Complex. Approx. 19mi
Oak Creek Line
The south eastern section of the trail connects the southern edge of the Root River Parkway with the Oak Creek Parkway via an old railroad track (the North Shore Right of Way). The trail connects with the South Shore Line.
Root River Parkway South - Abendschein Park. Approx. 8 mi
South Shore Line
The South Shore Line tracks the shoreline of Lake Michigan from Cupertino Park in Bay View, down through South Shore Park, Warnimont Park, Sheridan Park, and Grant Park. The trail then follows the Oak Creek Parkway before taking a new section of trail back to the lakefront in Bender Park.
Cupertino Park - Bender Park. Approx. 16 mi
Milwaukee River Line
This section of trail begins in downtown Milwaukee along the lakefront, travels through the city on a section known as the Eastside Trail before connecting with the Milwaukee River and tracking the river north through Estabrook Park, Lincoln Park, Kletzsch Park and on to Brown Deer Park.
Juneau Park - Brown Deer Park. Approx. 14mi
The Zip Line
This section of trail branches off of the Milwaukee River Line and provides a direct, traffic-free connection from Estabrook Park to Brown Deer Park by following an old rail line. The line is named for bicycling advocate Harold "Zip" Morgan, who first conceived and laid out a 64-mile trail in 1939.
Estabrook Park - Brown Deer Park. Approx. 6mi
Brown Deer Park - Kohl Park. Approx. 3mi
Drexel and Bradley Connectors
Bradley Avenue in the north and Drexel Aevenue in the south provide east-west connections between trail lines. Portions of these connectors are on-street, with traffic.
Bradley Connector. Approx. 3.3mi
Drexel Connector. Approx. 4.5mi
The Lake Line is a scenic ride along Milwaukee's lakefront. The line begins at the Milwaukee Art Museum and follows the shoreline through Veterans Park, McKinley Park and Bradford Beach, before continuing on to Lake Park and ending at the Northpoint Lighthouse.
Lake Loop. Approx. 8mi
The Whitnall Loop branches off of the Root River Line for a scenic ride through Whitnall Park. Beginning at the Whitnall Beer Garden, follow the loop past Boerner Botanical Gardens and slong the parkways. Stop by the Wehr Nature Center Center or Whitnall Golf Course too.
Whitnall Loop. Approx. 3.5mi
Current Closures & Construction
Root River Line
Between Morgan & Howard
A segment of the Root River Line, between Morgan and Howard avenues, is now closed with a detour along 116th Street. Frequent flooding in this area has degraded the pavement, causing large potholes, cracking, and ponding. Repair would involve raising the trail out of the floodplain and would be expensive. Funds in the Parks operating and maintenance budget are insufficient for this repair, so the Parks has applied for an external grant that would cover 80% of the cost. If the grant is awarded this fall, repair would take a few years to complete.
Root River Line
A detour on a section of the Root River Line, will take trail users along Swan Boulevard, from east of Mayfair Road and north of Watertown Plank Road to the Underwood Creek Parkway, where the detour rejoins the trail shortly before crossing the Menomonee River. The detour will run from April 12 through October 2023. A section of Underwood Creek Parkway beneath I-41will be closed while work on interstate I-41 occurs.
This stretch of parkway is known as the 'humpty humps' by some cyclists, but currently no funding is available for resurfacing the pavement. Milwaukee County Parks has at least half a billion in maintenance needs, and in 2021 the capital budget allocation to parks was just $8m.
Access to Wil-o-way Underwood, Firefly Community Gardens and Hansen Golf Course will be available from the north end of the parkway.
Calumet Flooding Abatement
Milwaukee County Parks has received a grant to move a section of trail on the Menomonee Line to address a flooding issue. The new alignment is being designed and will be constructed in 2022. Sporadic flooding may make the trail impassable. Use signed detour when necessary.
Oak Leaf Trail Park Explorer Map
Use our Park Explorer Map to discover the county parks, mountain bike trails and connecting parks and trails you can access from the Oak Leaf Trail!
View the Park Explorer Map
Oak Leaf Trail Wayfinding
Look for our wayfinding kiosks throughout the trail system for more detailed maps.
The Oak Leaf Trail is designed as a multi-use recreational trail. Enjoy your ride, walk, bike or roll by following these simple rules for sharing the trail:
- Stay on the right, pass on the left
- Obey all traffic signs and signals
- Travel single-file when in groups
- Keep pets on a short leash and pick up after them
- Travel at responsible speeds that are safe for conditions
- Follow trail closures and detours when marked and respect maintenance staff
- Be visible, use lights when traveling in low light conditions
- Stay on designated trails, respect our plant, wildlife and other neighbors along the trail
- Wear a helmet (strongly recommended)
Multiuse trail segments used for transportation are open 24 hours a day; however, the parks they bisect are generally open from 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Do not go off the trails outside of park hours.
Trail contact: (414) 257-7275. In an emergency call 911.