With its access to abundant recreational opportunities, world-class fitness clubs, excellent health care providers and a vibrant urban community, Milwaukee makes healthy living easy. Surrounded by natural beauty, Milwaukee residents like to get out and do things -- whether it is exercising at the health club, walking the beach, Riverwalk or downtown streets, playing tennis or golf in the dozens of county parks, kayaking the Milwaukee River, sailing Lake Michigan, or exploring the many state parks and hiking trails throughout southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. When that does not satisfy their wanderlust, they wander on to Door County, Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the Upper Peninsula, the Wisconsin Dells and the Apostle Islands. In Wisconsin, there is always a reason to be doing something.
Wellness, physical activity and healthy living are embedded in the region’s culture:
A commitment to public parks. Since the days when the state was first settled, civic leaders have been committed to setting aside public areas for citizens and visitors to enjoy. The result is miles of unspoiled lakefront beaches, hiking and biking trails, and dog parks. Milwaukee County alone has more than 140 parks with 15,000 acres of parkland, and many of the parks feature trails, tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools.
Hiking, Biking & Running
There are several major biking trails in the region, including the 96-mile Oak Leaf Trail that meanders throughout Milwaukee County, with an extended length along the lakefront; the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a 30-mile, paved path that follows former railroad tracks between Mequon and Belgium in Ozaukee County; the Hank Aaron State Trail, a 13.5-mile paved path from Lake Michigan west to Miller Park; the Glacial Drumlin Trail, which covers 13 miles in Waukesha County near the communities of Dousman, Pewaukee and Waukesha; the Lake Country Recreation Trail that connects the city of Waukesha with the county’s “lake country;” and the Bugline Trail, a 12-mile path near Menomonee Falls.
POPULAR RUNS, WALKS & TRIATHLONS
STATE PARKS, FORESTS & TRAILS
In addition to the many county and city parks, southeastern Wisconsin boasts several state parks and trails that offer a range of hiking, biking, and swimming opportunities:
Havenwoods State Forest is Wisconsin’s only urban state forest, featuring 237 acres of grasslands, woods and wetlands in the city of Milwaukee.
Lakeshore State Park, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, provides a unique urban oasis with great views of the city and Lake Michigan.
The Hank Aaron State Trail, named in honor of baseball legend Hank Aaron, connects Milwaukee's Miller Park Stadium and the Lake Michigan lakefront.
Lapham Peak, the highest point in Waukesha County, provides excellent hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing, and features a 45-foot observation tower.
Harrington Beach State Park is a 715-acre park with more than a mile of beach along Lake Michigan in northern Ozaukee County, near Belgium.
The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, located near Hartford, includes a 522-acre, spring-fed lake, and Powder Hill, a large glacial kame featuring great views.
Kettle Moraine Northern and Southern Units are comprised of more than 50,000 acres of glacial hills and lakes stretching across the southeastern side of the state.
Glacial Drumlin State Trail stretches for 52 miles through farmlands and glacial topography. The trail travels through 10 small towns from Cottage Grove to Waukesha.
Milwaukee has a respected medical community that includes educational and research facilities; integrated health care systems that coordinate clinic, inpatient and oupatient care; several specialty hospitals and a variety of health care plans ranging from traditional fee-for-service programs to health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and accountable care organizations (ACOs).
The Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, a sprawling campus of hospitals, outpatient clinics, health-related educational facilities and research centers, is located in the center of the metropolitan area. It includes Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, a 296-bed, acute-care hospital that is consistently ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation; Froedtert Hospital, which operates the state’s only Level 1 Trauma Center; the Medical College of Wisconsin, one of the nation’s largest private medical schools; the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, which operates an internationally recognized blood research center; and the Curative Care Network, which is one of the most comprehensive rehabilitation centers in the country. The regional medical center isn’t the only place offering advanced medical care, however. There are major hospitals located in downtown Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha, as well as community hospitals in the suburban communities of Franklin, Grafton, Kenosha, Menomonee Falls, Mequon, Oconomowoc, Summit, West Allis and West Bend.