Commune With Nature Without Leaving Milwaukee

You need not travel far from the city to find a quiet respite. Just head up to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

Just a 20-minute drive north of the heart of Downtown, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center offers trees, shoreline and plenty of birds. Check out these top five things to do while you’re there.

1. Get a birds-eye view. As tall as a 6-story building perched atop the bluff, the 60-foot observation tower provides panoramic views of the forest canopy below, as well as the vast blue horizon formed by Lake Michigan.

Photo by Eddee Daniel

2. Have a Word with a Bird. That’s the name of the program that takes place each Saturday, from 1-2 p.m. You’ll meet an eagle, owl or one of the 16 other rescued raptors that reside at the center, and find out the details of its habits, and some of the issues that impinge on these birds.

3. Explore a pond. Tucked throughout the grounds are numerous ponds of various sizes where the careful observer can see fish, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. Maximize your experience by joining one of the many walks led by the center’s knowledgeable educators and volunteers.

4. Get away from it all. Kick off your shoes and walk the sandy beach, and you’ll feel like you’ve left the city far behind. Sheltered by a bluff, this scenic spot is the perfect place to lay down a blanket and meditate on nature.

5. Bring a child. There’s no better way to invigorate your senses and see the world fresh than to share the experience with a young person.

See all 14 Weekends of Summer Fun

14 Weekends of Summer Fun: Milwaukee

‘Commune With Nature’ appears in the June 2017 (City Guide) issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning May 29, or buy a copy at

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Eddee Daniel is a Milwaukee-based photographer and writer. His work explores the intersection of nature and human culture. A graduate of the UW-Madison and UWM, he brings to his current practice more than 30 years of experience teaching art and writing about nature. He is the author of "Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed," a visual and narrative tribute to Milwaukee’s Menomonee River. Eddee writes two blogs: Urban Wilderness and Arts Without Borders. He serves on the Board of Directors of Preserve Our Parks. You can email him at