Some people build snowmen, or snow and ice sculptures. But I like to make snow hearts. And, out on the trail, I like to spy nature's hearts along the way. This year I picked up a snow heart mold, and on a few days when the snow was just the right consistency, I made snow hearts along my nature walks. It was snow much fun! Yup, pun intended. But seriously, we've had some really beautiful winter days lately, and I've been exploring our parks and nature trails. Some tried and true, and some new to me.
I visited, for the first time, the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Riverwalk in Delafield. It was a perfect winter day for exploring the trail along the Bark River. On one side is a natural trail that loops back around to the boardwalk trail on the opposite side of the river. It's an easy walk, and scenic, too.
Featured along the trail are nine separate war memorial sites, honoring veterans service in all wars with monuments, and educational kiosks illustrating the history of each war.
Wisconsin has some brutally cold winter days. I took advantage of one of those this close to sub zero temp days to take a drive to view the Tiffany Bridge along the Turtle Creek Parkway in Rock County.
This 5-arch stone historic railway bridge is noted to be the oldest bridge in Wisconsin, it's a beauty. And just as beautiful in winter as any other time of the year.
Also in Rock County is the historic Beckman Mill County Park. Another cold weather road trip. This 50-acre park includes the Beckman Mill and other historic buildings, along with a boardwalk and woodland nature trail.
Events are held on site throughout the year. It was quiet the winter day we visited, so we had the grounds to explore on our own. Worth the trip!
There's more nature going on in Delafield. I paid my first visit to hike the Lois Jensen Nature Preserve. This 30-acre hilly woodland preserve will provide you with a great winter workout, and great views to boot. The peaceful vibe comes complete with the sounds of woodpeckers and Chickadees flitting from tree to tree overhead.
The trails can be icy, so be prepared. I'll be visiting this gem in spring and summer for certain.
The ice-capped shore of Lake Michigan called and we took a ride down to the Port of Milwaukee for the frozen views, and a rare snowy owl sighting!
We're so lucky to live along such a beautiful lake here in Milwaukee.
Have you ever seen ice bubbles up close? I happened upon ice bubbles in Spring Brook Creek at Carver-Roehl County Park this week. I went to check out their "Hearts in the Park" feature, and was treated to the bonus ice bubble sighting. It's a great park any time of the year, but gorgeous in winter!
The hiking trail can be steep and icy in parts, so good hiking boots and a walking stick can come in handy.
There's something about Natureland County Park in Whitewater that just appeals to me. Maybe it's the name (clever), or its simple beauty. At 122-acres, the park features 4 different walking trails along different types of terrain. It is as stunning in winter as it is in any other season. I spotted a heart in one of the trees I hadn't noticed before.
Nature is full of surprises.
A nature lover, bird watcher, wildlife fan, amateur photographer, humane gardener, traveler, and singer of songs. I've been keeping closer to home these days, and truly discovering the beauty that lies in TheParkNextDoor.