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Guidebook Getaway: Take a Nice Autumn Stroll in Woodlands Between Chicago and Milwaukee

Live near Chicago or Milwaukee? Got a hankering to find a nice spot to enjoy a quiet autumn day? Consider a trip to the bucolic regions on the southern edge of Wisconsin for an easy walk in a lovely natural setting.

Today’s Guidebook Getaway (a regular feature here in The REI Blog) directs you Bristol Woods County Park in the village of Bristol, a few miles miles north of the Wisconsin-Illinois border and about 13 miles west (yet seemingly a world away) of Kenosha.

It’s a trip taken from the recently released 3rd edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Chicago by Ted Villaire, published by Menasha Ridge Press.

Get the free trail description. Or, get the complete book.

The park is tucked away in a pastoral setting where the roads have letters, not numbers, and most people traveling from Chicago take County Q in order to reach County MB, where the park is located.

The 2.6-mile hike highlighted in this free description shows off the forests, prairie and oak savannah remnants that give the park its appeal.

A docent at Pringle Nature Center, where the hike begins inside the park, told me this morning that many leaves are down (due to a dry summer and some recent windy days), but some fall colors still remain.

Early on the trail you’ll likely notice the unusually contorted oak tree shown in the photo below. Villaire points out this is an example of a Native American marker tree, one intentionally altered to point out some destination of importance in times past.

If you’re a cross-country skier, keep this park in mind for a winter visit. For now, enjoy the serenity of the scene. 

Other recent Guidebook Getaways:

Hike to the highest point east of the Mississippi (near Asheville, N.C.).
Hike to a 50-foot waterfall outside Salt Lake City.
Hike to a historic fire lookout in New York’s Adirondacks.


A 200-year-old oak that has been shaped into a Native American marker tree.

Posted on at 1:30 PM

Tagged: Chicago, Guidebook Getaways, Hiking, Hiking with kids and Milwaukee

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