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Explore the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail

July 16, 2018  |  Topics: Places

By Cheryl Nenn


For your next canoe or kayak trip, look no further than your own backyard!  Milwaukee Riverkeeper is proud to launch the new edition of the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail map with expanded coverage, giving paddlers 35 additional miles of river to explore!


The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is a canoe and kayak route through urban and interurban portions of the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers as well as Cedar Creek—providing more than 60 miles of paddling opportunities in portions of Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties.  The goal of the water trail is to connect people more closely with their waterways by providing them information on safe and legal access locations and to inspire a sense of stewardship.


This new edition connects our three rivers to access points along Lake Michigan – stretching along 60 miles of shoreline extending from Bender Park Beach in Milwaukee County to Harrington Beach State Park in Ozaukee County. These lakeshore access points incorporate those included in the Wisconsin portion of the Lake Michigan Water Trail as well as new County Parks added in Ozaukee County in recent years.


In addition, this new map edition includes information on type of river access (natural streambank, paddler friendly, high pier, etc.), amenities (restrooms, parking, potable water, picnic areas, etc.) and nearby points of interest (cultural, historical, and natural landmarks). The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is a great way to explore Ozaukee and Milwaukee County Parks, local natural areas, and State Parks such as Lakeshore State Park and Harrington Beach State Park.


Milwaukee River at Lincoln Park, Glendale


The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is a project of Milwaukee Riverkeeper in partnership with the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department, Milwaukee County Parks, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the National Park Service, the City of Milwaukee and many other local municipalities, community organizations, and environmental groups.

The Milwaukee Urban Water Trail is a designated National Recreation Trail and was named an American Canoe Association “Recommended Trail” in 2006.  Download the map now or contact Milwaukee Riverkeeper for your own copy, and start exploring!


Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor


Cheryl Nenn is the Riverkeeper with Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Photographs by Eddee Daniel, Preserve Our Parks board member and project director for A Wealth of Nature.