1111 East Brown Deer Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217
9:00am – 8:00pm | Monday – Thursday
9:00am – 5:00pm | Friday – Sunday
Members | free
Adults: $8 | Youth (3-17): $5
Active Duty/Veterans: $5 – Thank you for your service
Hikes guided by a staff Naturalist or Nature Ambassadors generally take place on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Meet in front of the building.
First Time Visitor | Take the trail to Mystery Lake and then visit our 60-ft Observation Tower. Mystery Lake has a new boardwalk that lets you get close to the frogs and turtles, and is wheelchair accessible. The tower provides a beautiful view of the property and of Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan Hike | Take the paved trail down to Lake Michigan, and follow the sandy steps down to the beach. You can feel the lake breeze, and see if any gulls or ducks are out on the water. Continue on the North Lake Terrace Trail, stop by the new Milner Lake Michigan Viewing Deck for another great view of Lake Michigan, and then continue on and head up the wooded steps to return to the building.
Stroller/young children/wheelchair | Take the Green Tree Accessible Trail around the tower, and connect to the wheelchair accessible trail made of crusher fines that leads to the Mystery Lake boardwalk. You’ll pass through woods, have the chance to see beautiful ephemeral flowers in spring, and end up at Mystery Lake with an up-close look at frogs, turtles, waterlilies, and be able to see native birds like Great Blue Heron, Baltimore Orioles, and Tree Swallows. Consider parking in the “tower lot” so you can start your hike right away!
Birding Hike | There is no wrong way to go if you’re a birder! We have many different habitats on the land, so different species can be found all over the property. A good route to start with is swinging by Mystery Lake, taking the paved path down to Lake Michigan, and then looping back up to the building by following the North Lake Terrace Trail. In Spring migration, this route should give a great variety of birds, including many warbler species.
Solitude Hike | Take the trail to Mystery Lake, and then head to the Woodland Loop. It is not a high-traffic area, and even includes a spot called Solitude Marsh! Another great area to recommend to visitors looking for solitude is the West Meadows Trail. You will see quite a few ponds, Eastern Bluebird houses, prairie flowers in summer, and can almost be guaranteed to not run into anyone else. This route will be muddy if it has rained recently.
Raptor Exhibit | Our Raptor Exhibit near the main building entrance allows visitors to get up close to a live bird of prey, daily from 10 to 3. Currently, Sky Walker, our Red-tailed Hawk resides there most days.
60 ft. Observation Tower | Provides a great view of our property and Lake Michigan from above the tree canopy. It is generally closed when snowy or rainy, as the steps can become slippery.
Mystery Lake Boardwalk | A wonderful place to see frogs, turtles, and waterlilies. This trail is a beautiful way to visit a pond regardless of any mobility limitations.
Milner Lake Michigan Viewing Deck | Located at the north end of the Lake Terrace Trail, this viewing deck offers a beautiful overlook of Lake Michigan.
Insect Hotel by Heidi Brody | Our insect hotel was built using natural materials to provide shelter for beneficial insects. Learn more here.
Gold Leed Certified Building | Ask our front desk staff about environmental features.
Live Animal Exhibits | Includes four turtles, a snake, and two flying squirrels.
Interactive Exhibits | Highlights our land and our green building. A bird chart is updated daily to reflect what birds have been seen on the property.
Mezzanine Art Gallery | Features rotating nature art exhibits.
Nature Store | Our Nature Store is located inside the Center’s main building and offers a wide variety of books, local artwork, seasonal treats, and necessities for nature lovers of every age. Members receive a 10% discount on items in the Nature Store.
Veranda | Faces Lake Michigan and is the perfect place to sit and watch the changing weather while reading or reflecting in one of our rocking chairs.
We are located on the shores of Lake Michigan, east of Lake Drive and about 1 mile east of I-43. We are 15 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee. See our Frequently Asked Questions.