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Ground yourself in the beauty of Northeast Wisconsin. Whether you're looking for a nature break between shopping stops at the Fox River Mall or hoping to lose yourself in the serenity of the outdoors for a few hours, the Fox Cities have the adventure for you!
Just 10 minutes to the north of bustling College Ave, you'll find the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve. This 725-acre preserve is adored by Fox Cities locals for its over eight miles of trails, its natural diversity ranging from meadow to forest, and its many educational and recreational events. Stop by the Nature Center to pick up a snowshoe or cross-country ski rental in the snowy months, and experience winter weather like you never have before. Plan you visit around one of their educational events like Birds of Bubolz or their popular Brew-Ski event, featuring local craft beers and a tour of the preserve on cross-country skis. For a short jaunt, try the Poplar Pass Trail (0.5 miles), circling beautiful Turtle Pond, or spend an afternoon walking the Wilderness Trail (4.5 miles), which will take you on a full loop of the property.
Sometimes, the best way to get to know a city is to step away from it. Take time to connect with the natural environment that surrounds it, get perspective by breathing fresh new air.
1000 Islands Environmental Center: Before venturing out onto the over seven miles of trails and boardwalks that navigate the wooded banks of the Konkapot Creek and the Fox River, step in to the Environmental Center to learn about the native wildlife and caring for threatened habitats from the Center's knowledgeable volunteers and staff. Venture out over the water to see if you can spot pelicans, bald eagles, crayfish, and a host of other native creatures. Lose yourself in the peace of the river and upper woods.
Heckrodt Wetland Reserve: Choose your adventure to experience with environments from forested wetland to prairie meadow. As you follow the boardwalk, see if you can spot the many different animal neighbors and plant-life that call the wetland home. After your visit, stop in to the Nature Center to say hi to the resident wetland wildlife and learn more about the wetland habitat.
Do you know what it feels like to walk on water? Get close by walking the Trestle Trail, a 1600-foot pedestrian bridge that connects the City of Menasha and the Village of Fox Crossing across Little Lake Butte des Morts. The Trestle is the longest bridge of its kind in the state of Wisconsin, and is only a small portion of the 3.2 mile Loop the Lake Trail, which was completed in 2018. Loop the Lake is pet-, bike-, and walk-friendly and provides ample opportunities to spot local birds (pelicans in the summer, bald eagles in winter). Take a leisurely stroll around lunch time, and stop off at one of Neenah or Menasha's many coffee shops and pubs for a bite to eat!