10 Oshkosh Area Family Friendly Trails for Biking, Walking & Hiking

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 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 that will take you through the city, around your favorite park, across the lake, and through the woods. 

Download Trail Map

Oshkosh Trails

Tribal Heritage Crossing of the Wiouwawsh State Trail, Oshkosh

The trail runs along the Interstate 41 causeway and connects with the Wiouwash State Trail on the north end of the bridge over Lake Butte des Morts allowing pedestrians and bikers to cross the lake. There are 13 overlooks along the trail that highlights the Native American Tribes of Wisconsin and the History of Lake Butte des Morts.

  • Trail Covering: paved
  • Total Distance: 1 mile
  • Restrooms: port-a-potty available seasonally
  • Other Amenities: ADA Accessible, history kiosk, Native American interpretive displays
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, biking, strollers, toddlers, families, scooters, rollerblading
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses:
  • Directions & Parking: Westwind Trail Head parking lot, or along Marine Drive on the north end of the crossing, or along Rath Lane and Butte Des Morts Drive on the south end of the crossing
  • Map and more information: 

Wiouwash State Trail

The trail runs six miles from the Winnebago County line near the junction of Highways 41 and 45, through four counties; Winnebago, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Shawano. This abandoned railroad corridor includes lots of wildlife and includes wetland. Trail also runs through Rat River Wildlife Area with numerous areas for birding, canoeing, and hiking. Trail also connects with Friendship State Trail along US 10 (connecting to Menasha and Trestle Trail).

  • Trail Covering: crushed stone
  • Total Distance: 41 total miles; out and back
  • Restrooms: restrooms are NOT available
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, biking, families
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses for Coffee and/or Ice Cream: 
  • Directions & Parking:
  • More Information:  Trail overview and maps

Downtown Oshkosh (Riverwalk)

This scenic walkway follows the river with access dining, fishing, and recreation along the way. It connects with the Wiouwash Trail. Enjoy river views, easy access to Downtown Oshkosh, and special events. 

Find a map of Downtown Oshkosh trails here.

  • Trail Covering: paved
  • Total Distance: 2 miles
  • Restrooms: Available at parks along the trail.
  • Other Amenities: Fishing pier and kayak/canoe launch. 
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, running, biking, strollers, toddlers, families, scooters, rollerblading
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses: 
    • Ground Round at River’s Edge, 1 North Main on Riverwalk
    • On the Loos Cruises, 1 North Main on Riverwalk
    • Caramel Crisp & Cafe, 200 City Center D
  • Directions & Parking: There are many options for parking including Riverside Park, Boatworks Park, and Fox Valley Tech on North Campbell Road 

Menominee Shoreline Trail to Menominee Park

This Winnebago County Park Trail is known for its 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 for pictures (and also a great spot to see the ice shoves in winter and 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 and Menominee Park Children’s Amusement Center are open seasonally. 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:
    • Lake Fly Café, Menominee Park (Seasonal Hours)
    • 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

Asylum Point Park & Lighthouse, Oshkosh

This natural area is on the shore of Lake Winnebago and has a small island with a historic lighthouse on the bay. The park is in the northeast corner of Oshkosh, about a half-mile east of County Road A. Tall trees and quiet surroundings make this a perfect spot for a walk and a picnic. There is also an area within the park that holds the historical Winnebago Mental Health Cemetery that is closed to the public by rope. Catch a beautiful view of a sunrise and sunset. 

  • Trail Covering: Dirt path and footbridge
  • Total Distance: about a 3-mile loop, shorter out and back from Sherman Road to the lighthouse 
  • Restrooms: Port-a-Potty is available seasonally
  • Other Amenities: Picnic areas, boat launch, historic lighthouse, fishing areas
  • Recommended for: walking and hiking, bird and wildlife viewing
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses:
  • Directions & Parking: Parking lot and hiking trail at the intersection of Sherman and Snell Roads. South on Sherman Road leads to the boat launch, park, hiking trails, and lighthouse.

South Park, Oshkosh

South Park is one of Oshkosh’s oldest parks, covering 24 acres, and is situated around three lagoons. The park includes a splash pad, universal playground, wooded areas, and sports courts in addition to the trails available here. 

  • Trail Covering: Paved paths throughout the park and bridges crossing the lagoons.
  • Total Distance: 1 mile
  • Restrooms: Seasonally
  • Other Amenities: Splash pad, universal playground, playground, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, fishing, gazebo
  • Recommended for: walking, running, biking, learning to bike, strollers, toddlers, families, scooters, rollerblading 
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses: 
    • Mineshaft Oshkosh, 2041 South Koeller Street
    • Hughes Home Maid Chocolate Shop, 1823 Doty Street
    • Hobby Town, 807 Oregon Street
  • Directions & Parking: There are two park entrances with parking on Georgia Street, a larger lot off the south entrance.

Rusch Park, Oshkosh

Rusch Park is a natural wetland area with walking trails. It is adjacent to Carl Traeger Elementary and Middle School. Stop at the playground to play outside of school hours!

  • Trail Covering: Paved trails and boardwalks
  • Total Distance: 1.25 miles 
  • Restrooms: No
  • Recommended for: walking, running, biking, learning to bike, strollers, toddlers, families, scooters, rollerblades
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses:
  • Directions & Parking: 3200 West 20th Avenue, use street parking during school hours or park in the lots when school is not in session

Glatz Nature Conservancy, Oshkosh

This nature conservancy is a historic site of the two breweries that formed Oshkosh Brewing company and worked until 1911. The breweries were dismantled but the one brewery wall remains and the caverns have been reinforced. 

  • Trail Covering: wood chips, crushed stone, dirt
  • Total Distance: smaller trail less than 1 mile, passive recreation area, 1.77 total acres
  • Restrooms: no
  • Recommended for: walking and hiking, observing nature
  • Dog Friendly: yes
  • Nearby Businesses: 
  • Directions & Parking: 2551 Doty Street, Oshkosh. Access at the cul de sac end of Doty Street south of West 24th Avenue. 

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 during 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: Stay up to date with events at Sheldon Nature Area

Ken Robl Conservation Park, Oshkosh

The walking trails are an example of an end-use landfill to benefit the community. There are also educational stations along the pond and green space focusing on solid waste and recycling programs in the community. 

  • Trail Covering: gravel
  • Total Distance: 1 mile
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Other Amenities: fishing pier, boardwalk
  • Recommended for: walking, strollers, biking
  • Dog Friendly: 
  • Nearby Businesses:
  • Directions & Parking: parking lot off Walter Street entrance
  • Park and Trail Map

Omro Trails

Terrell’s Island

Currently closed for restoration and repairs. You can keep up with progress with Butte des Morts Conservancy.

Terrell’s Island is a local best-kept secret and a favorite for many. The 3-mile breakaway 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

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 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.

  • Trail Covering: natural, rustic trails
  • Total Distance: a network of trails
  • Restrooms: outdoor restroom (portapotty)
  • Other Amenities: benches
  • Recommended for: walking, hiking, families
  • Dog Friendly: no
  • Directions & Parking: 2987 Delhi Rd, Waukau
  • Trail Map with Locations to Identify Plants and Trees

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: From Oshkosh, take State Highway 41 south to Fond du Lac or State Highway 26 to Rosendale to access the eastern section of the Mascoutin Valley State Trail. To access the western section of the trail from Oshkosh, take State Highway 44 into Ripon or State Highway 91 to Berlin.
    • 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

Get weekly tips for Oshkosh families to your email!

    related articles

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Scroll to Top