Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary Outdoors

Written by CJ Buhk
    Friday, 26 July 2019
Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary Outdoors

A few years ago I had a friend who was afraid to do almost anything outdoorsy in Milwaukee. She told me that the outdoors "didn't have anything accessible." How I've loved proving her wrong!

Truth is, there are a lot of ways to enjoy nature on wheels in Milwaukee. And, what better time to explore the natural beauty of our city than on the anniversary of one of the most important pieces of legislation regarding civil rights – the Americans with Disabilities Act? Here are five outdoorsy things you can do in Milwaukee on July 26th and beyond:

Visit Bradford Beach

In addition to some beautiful views, there are three accessible beach chairs available for free at Bradford Beach. The chairs are manual and need to be reserved in advance, call 414-344-8644. Use the portable, nonslip matting called Mobi-Mats and head down to the water.

And there's more to come! The Ability Center, in partnership with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee County Parks, has a project underway to make Bradford Beach more wheel friendly. The ultimate goal is to have a permanent ramp that connects to the Mobi-Mats which take you down to the water. Below is an artist rendering of the final project. Click here to learn more.

Artist rendering of Bradford  Beach plan

Rent a hand-bike and get some exercise

Visit Wheel Fun Rentals at  Veterans Park (1400 North Lincoln Memorial Drive) to try out an adaptive bike! Call for prices and availability, (414) 232-5027.

Wheel through Milwaukee County Parks

The Oak Leaf Trail is a multi-use, paved trail that takes you through some of Milwaukee's best parks. Be sure to use this map to plan your trip as some of the trail includes city streets and parkways. One of my favorite routes is from UEC's Riverside Park branch to the Milwaukee Art Museum. It has some great exits to restaurants and more along the way if you don't want to go the whole way. You can find our Riverside and Washington Park branches located along different parts of this 125-mile trail.

Another great option is the Hank Aaron State Trail. This 14-mile paved trail extends from the Milwaukee/Waukesha county line to the lakefront. Our Menomonee Valley branch is located along this trail. Click here for more info and a trail map.

Oak Leaf trail south side view from Riverside Park

Oak Leaf trail south side view from Riverside Park.

Enjoy the "hidden" trail along the Milwaukee River

Check out the beauty of the river from the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum and East Bank Trail. This "hidden" limestone, the rustic trail isn't paved but is solid. You can find the East Bank Trail by starting at the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum and take the winding paved path down until you find a white-ish path heading north and south. Head the direction you want and enjoy Milwaukee's Greenway. Please note that this trail isn't paved, but it is solid. Because of its proximity to the river, this trail may be closed in spring. Use this map to plan your adventure!

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Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum and East Bank Trail. Photo by Eric Meils.

Nature Downtown

If looking for a great way to explore downtown away from the traffic, try the Milwaukee Riverwalk. This 20 block boardwalk and sidewalk gives you an awesome view of the river with shops and restaurants along the way. Learn more about the RiverWalk here.

Get out this year and celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the beauty of Milwaukee's natural areas!

Photo Credit: Matt Unrau
CJ Buhk

CJ Buhk

In her role as Marketing Communications Coordinator, CJ Buhk encourages others to explore nature in the city. Her most vivid childhood memory is being at an Easter Seals summer camp and seeing the sun set opposite of the moon rise with the Milky Way flowing between them.

A fan of scifi and fantasy, CJ claims to have found "the one ring." We're not sure what that means.


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