By Maura Keller | Photo courtesy Discover Green Bay
When considering outdoor activities within the Green Bay area, most people immediately think of football and the outdoor environs of Lambeau Field. While football is certainly a favorite pastime in Green Bay, the city offers a wealth of outdoor recreation areas to explore.
Green Bay has a splendor and peacefulness that is apparent in almost every one of its outdoor localities. From biking along relaxing trails at the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum to wandering through 47 glorious acres at the Green Bay Botanical Garden to exploring the scenic hiking trails at Bay Shore County Park, the Green Bay region has outdoor adventure options for people with a variety of interests and all skill levels. Slightly south of Green Bay is Fonferek Glen Conservancy Area, which has towering cliffs, rugged terrain and an awe-inspiring 30-foot waterfall. While the waterfall is an active water source in spring and summer, hiking enthusiasts can walk through the “dry” waterfall in the fall, when the water dries up.
Do you enjoy watching birds at your backyard feeder? Imagine watching majestic hawks perched in high tree branches, or swooping down to meadows and marshes while hunting. The Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve offers a close-up view of more than 200 species within its 920 acres. Filled with meadows, wetlands and forests, Barkhausen also features a unique “Sensory Woods” experience that helps people of all abilities get up close and personal via sensory experiences in nature.
Of course no visit to Green Bay would be complete without a visit to Ashwaubomay Park, a favorite spot for those looking to enjoy lake swimming and beach relaxation. The manmade lake in the park overlooks the beautiful Fox River. Complete with an expansive picnic area, playground equipment and a relaxing beachfront, Ashwaubomay Park is an ideal place to spend a summer day in the great outdoors.
Plan your visit at greenbay.com
Children’s Story Time at Green Bay Botanical Garden | Tuesdays through Oct. 25
Families can enjoy nature-themed stories and activities celebrating the great outdoors. gbbg.org
Teddy Bear Hunt | June 5, 2-4 p.m.
This fun event at Osprey Point lets families learn about conservation issues while “hunting” for teddy bears along trails. Each family purchases a “hunting license,” which covers lunch, a teddy bear for each child and other nature-themed activities. sites.google.com/view/browncountyiwla
17th Annual Walk for Wildlife | Sept. 17
Each year, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary plays host to its annual Walk for Wildlife, a key annual fundraiser for the sanctuary’s animal rehabilitation programs. Participants can enjoy walking 2.5 miles of scenic trails and visiting various live animal stations along the way. baybeachwildlife.com
Get Back to Nature
Teeming with more than 600 acres dedicated to wildlife, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a huge draw for nature lovers. Its mission is quite simple: To be an urban wildlife refuge where visitors can interact with wildlife, plants and other natural resources through environmental education and recreation.
In addition to various educational displays and live animal exhibits, visitors to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary can also explore the area through the miles of hiking trails, which offer a change for wildlife viewing. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it!
Each spring, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary features the ever-popular Midwest Crane Count. In addition, on May 18, visitors can join the local bird club to look for returning migratory birds. Be sure to bring binoculars!
Throughout both May and June, the Sanctuary offers different educational programming focusing on otters, eagles, wolves, snakes and other animals. Be sure to check the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary calendar for listings of their daily activities. baybeachwildlife.com