5 Oshkosh Area Family Friendly Nature Trails for Biking, Walking & Hiking

Terrell's Island
Photo Credit: Martina Hunt | Terrell's Island

Family walks are elevated to a new level of importance lately. If you’re looking for a new, interesting spot to explore on foot or by bike, there are some real gems around the Oshkosh area. We love these five spots for the unique features to be found at each location. Gather up your family, lace up your shoes, and head out to explore one of these fun trails.

Find a map of Downtown Oshkosh trails here.

Our 5 Favorite Trails in and around Oshkosh

  • Terrell’s Island, Omro
  • Sheldon Nature Trail, Oshkosh
  • Menominee Shoreline Trail to Menominee Park, Oshkosh
  • Waukau Creek Nature Preserve, Waukau
  • Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail, Rosendale

Jump to Section: Terrel’s Island | Sheldon Nature Trail | Menominee Shoreline | Waukau Creek Nature Preserve | Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail

Read More: 18 Fox Valley Family Friendly Nature Trails for Biking, Walking & Hiking

Omro Trails

Terrell’s Island

Terrell’s Island is a local best kept secret and a favorite for many. The 3 mile breakway trail is located on the south shore of Lake Butte des Morts.

GVK Reader, Becki, “Terrell’s Island can be chilly at times over the water but it’s our favorite to walk and bike!”

  • Trail Covering: pea gravel
  • Total Distance: 3 miles; loop
  • Restrooms: restrooms are NOT available
  • Other Amenities: benches, picnic tables
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, biking, strollers, toddlers, families
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Directions & Parking: 5401-5541 Shubert Rd, Omro

Read More: Go Valley Kids visits Terrell’s Island

Terrell's Island
Photo Credit: Martina Hunt | Terrell’s Island

Jump to Section: Sheldon Nature Trail | Menominee Shoreline | Waukau Creek Nature Preserve | Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail

Oshkosh Trails

Sheldon Nature Trail

The Sheldon Nature Area is a 26 acre outdoor classroom and part of the Oshkosh Area School District. The trail also connects with Oakwood School. Enjoy the school playground durning non-school days before or after your hike!

  • Trail Covering: natural
  • Total Distance: 1+ miles, network of trails 
  • Restrooms: Restrooms are NOT available
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, toddlers, families
  • Dog Friendly: no
  • Nearby Businesses: Culver’s, 2270 Westowne Ave, Oshkosh (off the trail)
  • Directions & Parking: 1225 N. Oakwood Rd, Oshkosh
  • More Information: www.facebook.com/Sheldon-Nature-Area

Jump to Section: Terrel’s Island | Menominee Shoreline | Waukau Creek Nature Preserve | Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail

Menominee Shoreline Trail to Menominee Park

This Winnebago County Park Trail is known for it’s beautiful views of Lake Winnebago. This is also a popular fishing spot. The lake often provides a nice breeze on hot summer days. Catch the sunrise if you are an early bird! Ames Point is beautiful pictures (and also a great spot to see the ice shoves in winter / early Spring). Families can also enjoy a walk through a FREE zoo at Menominee Park (no dogs allowed), playgrounds and amusement rides. Menominee Park Zoo is scheduled to open May 2 but may be changed with current Governor’s order. Updates can be found on the City of Oshkosh website or facebook page. Menominee Park Children’s Amusement Center is scheduled to open May 23 but may be changed with current Governor’s orders. Updates can be found on the City of Oshkosh website or facebook page.

  • Trail Covering: paved asphalt
  • Total Distance: 3.9 miles 
  • Restrooms: restrooms are available at Menominee Park
  • Other Amenities: benches, trash receptacles, pavilions, playground
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, biking, learning to bike, strollers, toddlers, families, scooters, rollerblading
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses:
    Lakefly Café, Menominee Park (May 2nd – September 27th)
    Leon’s Frozen Custard, 121 W Murdock Ave, Oshkosh (off the trail)
  • Directions & Parking:
    North End Parking: Ames Point, northern end of Millers Bay
    South End Parking: Menominee Park, 520 Pratt Trail, Oshkosh

Ames Point

Jump to Section: Terrel’s Island | Sheldon Nature Trail | Waukau Creek Nature Preserve | Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail

Waukau Trails

Waukau Creek Nature Preserve

Waukau Creek Nature Preserve is a 64 acre preserve and part of the Winnebago County Parks Department. The land was part of the Department of Natural Resources and contains a rough fish-holding pond with a regulation devices that control its water level and divert the flow of the creek. Many species of fish can be caught in this pond. The area also includes densely wooded, steep-walled ravines that slope into a broad creek floodplain and the home of many wildflowers. Hikers can also enjoy interpretive signs along trails to learn about the area.

Jump to Section: Terrel’s Island | Sheldon Nature Trail | Menominee Shoreline | Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail

Rosendale Trails

Mascoutin Valley State Park Trail

This Wisconsin State Park trail is county-operated and stretches between farms, prairies and wetlands in Green Lake, Winnebago and Fond du Lac counties. The trail also has great wildlife viewing at Eldorado Marsh Wildlife Area in Fond du Lac County and the Rush Lake Marsh area in Winnebago County. Common sightings include deer, waterfowl, raccoons, muskrats, rabbits and songbirds.

  • Trail Covering: limestone, grass, and gravel
  • Total Distance: 2 sections, 21 miles total 
  • Restrooms: restrooms are NOT available
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, biking, strollers, toddlers, families
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Directions & Parking:
    • Berlin: North end of the trail, Parking available along streets at County Highway F and South Street
    • Oshkosh:
    • Ripon: Parking lot on Locust St. or along city roads
    • Rosendale: Taylor Park
    • Fond du Lac: Rolling Meadows Drive (near State Highway 41) and at the trail’s junction with County Highway I (north of State Highway 23).
  • More Information: dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/mascoutin

Jump to Section: Terrel’s Island | Sheldon Nature Trail | Menominee Shoreline | Waukau Creek Nature Preserve

Read More: 18 Fox Valley Family Friendly Nature Trails for Biking, Walking & Hiking

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