Explore the great outdoors of Milwaukee this summer
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Friends, the end of the semester is finally here. Although we are still dealing with the dramatic Midwestern climate, sunshine and warm weather are on the way. With that said, it is time to take advantage of the outdoor activities that are readily available to those staying in Milwaukee this summer.
Visit the Urban Ecology Center
The Urban Ecology Center wants you to experience the outdoors. They offer a $12 yearly membership for students. As a member, you can borrow outdoor equipment for free from their park locations: Riverside Park, Washington Park and Menomonee Valley. The rentable summer equipment includes canoes, kayaks, bikes, camping equipment and lawn sports. The ecology centers are accessible by bus (ranging from 19 to 30 minutes) or by car (10 minutes maximum). The Urban Ecology Centers offer a mini-escape to nature, away from Milwaukee’s urban environment.
From the street to the trails, Milwaukee is a great city for biking. If you have your own bike and are interested in bringing it to Milwaukee, the parking structures on campus have bike corrals, where you can freely keep your bicycle; just make sure you have a U-Lock. If you don’t have a bike, do not fret! Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s bike-share stations, are rentable in 11 different locations in Milwaukee. All you have to do is use a credit card to buy a Single Ride or Bublr Pass. The Single Ride is $3 and lasts up to 30 minutes. Every additional 30 minutes will add $3 to your rental. The Bublr Bikes are convenient for getting around downtown Milwaukee, but if you have your own bike, there are a few trails easily accessible from the city. The Oak Leaf Trail is a paved, 108-mile recreational trail, which connects all of the major parks in the Milwaukee County Park System. The Hank Aaron State Trail begins at Lakeshore State Park, near Discovery World and the Summerfest grounds. The trail stretches through the Third and Fifth Wards, past Miller Park and as far west as the State Fair Park.
Go for a run (or walk)
The trails mentioned above are multi-use and are great running and walking trails. Of course, there is the always the classic, tranquil run along the lakefront. Whether you are with a friend or going solo, this path is great in any season, but especially during the summer months. If you’re looking for fun or competitive ways to run this summer, Milwaukee has multiple races to choose from. On June 19, Glow in the Night 5K will take place. Over the course of three miles, participants will be covered in glow powder that will light up under the black lights lining the course. Glow in the Night creates a fun experience for participants while giving back to the local community. This year, they will be donating to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. As far as a more easy-going run and walk, July 9 is BMO Harris’s Storm the Bastille, a 5K that kicks off Bastille Days. Matthew Miceli, a junior in the College of Business Administration, shared his experience last year during Storm the Bastille.
“Seeing thousands of people running down Milwaukee’s major streets was awesome, especially given the race takes place at night, Miceli said. “While it is a 5K, everyone goes at their own pace, whether they were walking or running. I cannot wait for this year’s Storm the Bastille.”
Whether exploring, running or walking, Milwaukee offers many opportunities for you to get outside during the summertime. Midwestern winters are long, and you deserve to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather that is on its way.