Wisconsin Attractions March 10, 2023
by Ben Jones A True Hidden Gem, The 237-Acre Havenwoods State Forest Is Perfect For Wisconsin Nature Lovers
When you’re in Wisconsin you’re never far from a connection to nature. Hidden in the state’s largest city, there’s something you might not expect to find in Milwaukee – a state forest. Havenwoods State Forest is a beautiful Wisconsin park set on former farmland that has been transformed into an urban oasis that connects people with nature. Here’s the story of Havenwoods State Forest in Wisconsin:
You'll find Havenwoods State Forest on Milwaukee's north side, surrounded by residential neighborhoods and some businesses like fast food restaurants and car dealerships.
The park is Wisconsin's only urban state forest - it's 237 beautiful acres of grasslands, woods, and wetlands. When you walk through the forest it seems like it's been here forever, but that was not always the case.
The land was once the hunting grounds of Native Americans and when Europeans arrived, they cut down trees and drained the land for farming.
In the early 1900s, Milwaukee County purchased the land for its Department of Corrections. Prisoners milked dairy cows and tended to crops. The parkland also once housed a U.S. Army base and a missile silo.
In 1980, the land became a state forest and today the park welcomes nature lovers. The park is laced with scenic trails that are used for hiking and cross-country skiing. It's also a great place for a picnic.
The park's Nature Center offers a wealth of information about the park's history and ecology and it has some interesting interactive exhibits. It also offers educational programming, too, like nature workshops and hikes on the trails.
Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a place to relax, you’ll find plenty to love in this hidden gem in Milwaukee. The forest is open year-round, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The nature center is open Tuesdays-Saturdays. Learn more on the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website. Once you’ve taken in Havenwoods, here are some more epic places to go hiking around Milwaukee.
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Address: Havenwoods State Forest, 6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53209, USA