Have you been feeling cooped up lately? Us too! Wauwatosa is home to some amazing parks and outdoor areas that many unique and local birds call home – making it the perfect destination for a safe (and socially distant) trip for bird lovers. Check out this one-day itinerary for some seriously good bird watching in our friendly community.
County Grounds Park
Grab your camera and head over to one of the favorite natural areas amongst locals in Tosa – County Grounds Park. The park itself is a historical site of a former behavioral healthcare facility and appeals to birders due to significant and distinctive habitats that host several endangered species. With a variety of trails, there’s something for birders of all ages to access and enjoy! For added fun, hop on a Bublr bike (hint: there’s a bike station near County Grounds Park) and enjoy the rest of your birding adventure from the comforts of two wheels.
Menomonee River Parkway
Just north of County Grounds Park you can conveniently access the Menomonee River Parkway. In recent years, portions of the parkway that run along the Menomonee River have been rebuilt. The parkway spans almost the entire length of Tosa, from Currie Park on the north side all the way into the heart of our community – The Village. The Menomonee River Parkway is part of the well-known Oak Leaf Trail that loops Milwaukee County and is a popular scenic route for bird enthusiasts. Get in tune with nature as you trek the parkway and keep an eagle eye out to see how many different bird species you can spot – there’s over 100 species that call our area home!
You surely must have worked up an appetite by now. Take the Menomonee River Parkway right into the charming Village of Wauwatosa for a juicy burger on the patio at Café Hollander; or maybe you fancy a margarita from Jose’s Blue Sombrero? The Village Beer Garden is a fun place to relax and people watch as you sip on an ice-cold beer. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s something in the Village to curb your craving. Pro tip: If your visit falls on a Saturday, make sure you check out the Tosa Farmers Market and pick up some seasonal goodies to enjoy.
Hop back on the Menomonee River Parkway, head back in the same direction you came from as you leave the Village, and make a final stop at the easily accessible Hoyt Park (which you may have passed by as you left County Grounds Park earlier). This park is home to one of the most instagrammable spots in Tosa – Hoyt Bridge. This park also makes for a great spot to photograph some feathered friends. When ripe, the Mulberry trees along the Menomonee River attract all kinds of birds – warblers, thrashers, bluebirds, orioles – the list goes on. Hoyt Park is home to The Landing Beer Garden and is a great place to perch if you’re feeling parched after a long day.
Where to Stay
If you are too gassed to make it home, and want to extend your birding adventure, there are so many great hotel options in Wauwatosa – and a few of them are super close to the birding spots mentioned. Right in the backyard of County Grounds Park is the Residence Inn by Marriott Milwaukee West – making it the perfect place to get a good night’s rest after your day full of bird watching. The Sonesta Milwaukee West Wauwatosa and SpringHill Suites by Marriott Milwaukee West/Wauwatosa are also located nearby to provide you with some much-needed rest and relaxation.
These outdoor options are sure to provide you with safe ways to get moving and take in some fresh air to rejuvenate your mind and soul. We are confident you will leave feeling refreshed with blissful memories until your next trip to Tosa. Don’t forget to tag #DiscoverWauwatosa and #VisitTosa to show us what creatures and scenic views you encountered on your Tosa bird watching adventure.