Date: Aug 9, 2017
Distance: 15 miles
Weather: Sunny, low 80's.
Highlights of the trip: Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, beer gardens!
The lake view is the same, but the minute your feet touch the ground, you know you are not in Chicago anymore. The vibe is different, more friendly, laid back.
It was a last-minute decision to come here, and we arrived late, about 1pm, as we had a morning appointment in Chicago that day. Originally, we thought we would ride a loop using the Hank Aaron Trail and the lower half of the Oak Leaf Trail, but it was just too ambitious with half the day behind us. So instead, we headed north along the lakefront trail, and then meandered along the trails that follow the Milwaukee River Greenway.
Along the way, we came upon the Riverside Park and lovely arboretum, and we poked around the unpaved paths for a bit before riding on. We were chatting idly about how nice a beer would be right about now, when, as if by magic, a rustic gate appeared on the side of the trail with a beckoning "Beer Garden" sign. We were unfamiliar with beer gardens, but I am here to tell you that they are a fabulous innovation, and there should be one along every bicycle trail. Delicious New Glarus selections were offered in .5 and 1 liter steins, and we consumed ours (half-liters) at a rustic picnic table.
Further down the trail we found a large bulletin board with all the summertime beer gardens helpfully marked on a map! On our journey that day, we stumbled upon another one, and this time we indulged in a brat to go along with the second half-liter. We enjoyed this simple repast while listening to a lederhosen-clad accordion player.
Milwaukee has more bike trails than you can shake a stick at, and we definitely look forward to exploring all of them in the near future.