By Amy Bayer
“Naturally fun!” is the slogan for Walworth County, and for good reason. With an abundance of lakes, forests and rivers there are numerous natural outdoor destinations including Big Foot Beach State Park, 11.5 miles of the White River State Trail, and two separate parts of the Kettle Moraine State Forest: the Southern Unit and Mukwonago River Unit.
The hills and valleys of the Kettle Moraine offer multiple locations for mountain biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing and hiking along nature trails. Check out the 21-mile Lake Shore Path that circles Geneva Lake or the 18-mile portion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that passes through the northern part of the county.
With so much to do and see, we’ve created a list of seven natural scenic wonders in Walworth County to get you started on your next outdoor adventure.
Residents of Fontana are committed to preserving the environment and have been maintaining multiple protected areas including the Fontana Fen, which is a rare type of wetland that supports only a few specialized plants, and the Hildebrand Conservancy, which surrounds the Van Slyke Creek.
The natural areas are located two blocks from one another and offer a variety of hiking trails and educational opportunities. Visitors can stroll through the properties and explore the ecosystems that contribute to Geneva Lake’s superior water quality.
Price Park Conservancy is a delightful park with hilly trails that wind through the Mathilde Schreiner Woods. The conservancy is located near Elkhorn. Leashed pets are welcome, or your dog can run free at the Bark Park next to the parking lot.
With over 60 acres of woods and wildflowers to explore, it’s a great place to get outside and appreciate the area’s natural beauty.
Located southeast of Lake Geneva, the Four Season Nature Preserve has a variety of natural activities to experience. Beautiful hiking trails through hills and valleys offer scenic and tranquil views of the surrounding area and its wildlife.
The preserve includes a wetland, wide open dog exercise area, pond, boardwalk and overlook tower, which all offer plenty to see and do for the whole family.
Wildwood Park is considered the Village of Darien's best-kept secret. Located on the southeast side of town, this forested property encompasses 26 acres and has three scenic ponds to walk around.
The park also has a variety of trails for cross country skiing, hiking and biking.
Located eight miles south of Whitewater along the southern shore of Whitewater Lake, Natureland Park provides incredible opportunities for observing the beautiful Kettle Moraine terrain. Covering 122 acres, the park is home to four hiking trails, including the Trail of Many Terrains, which is as diverse as the name suggests.
Birds and wildlife are abundant, and the natural springs and wetlands support a variety of vegetation to enjoy.
Delavan is so committed to enjoying nature, they have two arboretums located on the north side of town. The Paul Lange Memorial Arboretum's trail follows the shore of Lake Comus, while the Ora Rice Memorial Arboretum highlights a wide open meadow great for bird watching.
In addition, the Ben Dibble Nature Trail is alongside the arboretums and offers a more rustic route through the woods. Combined, these natural areas have 30 acres of beautiful scenery to enjoy.
This eight-acre property located just north of East Troy near the Beulah Bog State Natural Area was specifically purchased by a non-profit organization to protect a restored bur oak prairie. Through donations and grants, the preserve was opened to the public in 2014.
Located on the bluffs overlooking Lake Beulah, the preserve has incredible scenic views of the lake and valley, and offers a quiet respite for nature lovers.
Want to read more? Check out these seven statewide natural wonders, and keep an eye on TravelWisconsin.com as we roll out more articles on scenic wonders by county.