Recreation / Outdoors

Biking, hiking, sailing, fishing, hunting, golfing, camping – name your pleasure and the opportunities abound.

The Milwaukee Region offers everything for the outdoor enthusiast. You can battle with salmon and steelhead trout on a Lake Michigan charter boat or sail with the wind on a lazy day on Geneva Lake. You can go for a day hike in rolling hills formed by melting glaciers or stroll along the miles of protected Lake Michigan shoreline. Test your biking skills at Kenosha’s Washington Park Velodrome, the oldest operating bike-racing track in the United States, or work on your downhill skills at one of the region’s ski hills. Perhaps you want to go for a swim. Public beaches abound along the Lake Michigan shoreline, including Racine’s North Beach, which has been designated as one of the cleanest and safest beaches in the United States by the Washington D.C.-based Clean Beaches Council.

This is a region that has long been committed to preserving the outdoors for future generations. There are more than 15,000 acres of parks in Milwaukee County alone, the greatest acreage per person in the country. In 2009, the Milwaukee County Parks System was awarded the National Gold Medal for Excellence by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association. View a video about the history and tradition of the award-winning Milwaukee County Parks here.

There are dozens of public golf courses, including Brown Deer Golf Course, which is the past home of the former PGA-sanctioned Greater Milwaukee Open and the U.S. Bank Championship. Erin Hills Golf Course will be host to the 2017 U.S. Open, and Whistling Straits, an hour north of Milwaukee in Kohler, will host the 2015 PGA Championship and 2020 Ryder Cup.

In 2013, six Wisconsin golf courses were named to Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, including Kohler Co.'s four courses at its Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run properties. The Straits course at Whistling Straits ranked No. 2 and Erin Hills ranked No. 10. Blackwolf Run's River course in Kohler ranked No. 14 and Whistling Straits' Irish course ranked No. 39, followed by Blackwolf's Meadow Run course at No. 62 and The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls, a Jack Nicholas Signature course, ranked No. 77.

Several bike trails wind their way through the region, including the 30-mile Interurban Trail in Ozaukee County and Milwaukee County’s 100-mile Oak Leaf Trail, as well as several shorter trails that can be found in every county.

State parks located in the region include: the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Harrington Beach State Park, the Bong State Recreation Area, the Vernon Marsh State Wildlife Area and Pike Lake State Park.

Best Golf Courses

Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run golf courses, both located 45 minutes north of Milwaukee, ranked

No. 2 and No. 14

respectively in Golf Digest's ranking of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses.