I love flicking through destination visitor guides. Sometimes on a website you may miss something if you’re not quite looking in the right place but in a guide, it’s all there in black and white for you to see. Back in April, I discovered that Kenosha (Wisconsin) had a section of their guide entitled “Get Your 10,000 Steps While Enjoying the Kenosha Area”. Now as a Fitbit obsessed person, I was desperate to get back to Kenosha in the summer to test a couple of the routes out! I was so impressed that a destination was actually targeting the 10,000 step counting market!
(Thank you to Visit Kenosha for hosting my stay. As always opinions are my own)
The Lake Michigan Route
The Lake Michigan route covers a huge area of Downtown Kenosha (4.6miles of it to be precise), starting and finishing in the same place! By the end of the route, I had clocked up 13,000 steps (which is actually my daily target) which is about a mile extra, but I wear my Fitbit 24/7 so it was counting the hour between waking up (7am) and starting my walk at 8am…plus I wander around a lot trying to find the best angle for photos!
I started the tour right in front of my hotel, the Wyndham Garden Hotel, right alongside the Kenosha Harbour. From here I followed the path, over the bridge and onto Simmons Island. Where the road forks, I took the path across the park, heading left, stopping just before it turned into JF Kennedy Park, at the rocks where the beach ends. This is also where I hit…
As it was a nice day, I walked on the sand, along the water’s edge towards the red ‘North Pier Lighthouse. Kenosha has 5 beaches altogether (Simmons Island Park Beach being the largest) and over 80% of its lakefront is publicly accessible! If the weather allows it, walk along the pier to get a closer look at the lighthouse. There are signs that warn that in the winter it gets slippery and dangerous, but on a sunny August day, it was fine! The North Pier Lighthouse is actually home to the ‘Kenosha Lighthouse Studio’ where artists take turns to showcase their work. The outside is covered in murals, my favourite being the 2 waves that when you stand in front of them, it gives you wings!
Continue alongside the harbour and down 4th Avenue. You’ll pass the Kenosha History Center (which is my FAVOURITE Kenosha museum!) and onto the Southport Lighthouse and Lighthouse Station Museum, where I reached…
If you get the chance to visit the Southport Lighthouse, I recommend it! The Station Museum is so interesting and I’ll be writing about it in more detail shortly! The Lighthouse was built in 1866 but is no longer in operation. There are 72 stairs to the top and the views are pretty awesome! On a good day you can see the Chicago skyline in the distance!
Take the same bridge back off Simmons Island, down the steps and back onto the harbour promenade path. Just the other side of the Wyndham Garden Hotel, is the Common Grounds coffee shop. Being at just over half way through the walk, this is a perfect stop for a coffee (or tea!) break! If you reach this before 9.45am, they do a great breakfast sandwich. The Spring Cherry green tea is also lovely! They have a nice outside patio that overlooks the harbour. I grabbed a blueberry and pomegranate smoothie to-go to take with me on the next part of the walk!
Continuing along the harbour wall, you’ll pass through Harbor Park which is also home to various art sculptures. About 3/4 of the way through Harbor Park I clocked…
During my visit, 7500 steps was at the Giraffe sculpture which was one of my favourite pieces! The sculptures change each year.
Keep following the walking path to the end and follow it round a couple of corners where you then come to the Southport Marina. There’s a free to use splash park for little kids and more importantly, free to use toilets (which I was desperate for after the tea and smoothie)!
In the photo below, spot the only boat in the Southport Marina that I could actually afford!
As you keep walking past the Marina, it puts you directly into Wolfenbuttel Park (Kenosha is twinned with the town of Wolfenbuttel in Germany)! Now you could cut the corner and head towards the ’90 degree corner in the road’ to continue down 60th Street or I carried on walking the perimeter of the park, where it turned into Eichelman Park Beach and then looped round to take a picture of the flower gardens and the swinging bench, which is where I actually completed…
So carrying on along 60th Street, you end up in Library Park. Either take a loop around the library and look at some of the historic buildings, or head to the right toward St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and down 6th Avenue, which is a street full of little independent shops, restaurants and cafes! On the corner of the tiny little Friendship Park, there’s a cool ‘Greetings From Kenosha’ mural in the style of an old fashioned postcard on the wall of the House of Nutrition (that actually stocks English PG Tips tea bags)!
6th Ave takes you all the way back to the harbour and to the start of the walk! The Veterans Memorial Fountain is a good finishing point (and where I reached 13,000 steps)! With all my stops (and tea break) the walk took me around 3 hours to complete!
Prairie Springs Park
The 2nd 10,000 step route I tried out was the walk around Lake Andrea in Prairie Springs Park. This is located just under 7 miles away from Downtown Kenosha, in Pleasant Prairie. The walking route around the lake is 2.3 miles long. One lap took me around 35 minutes to walk. Twice round the lake = 4.6 miles = 10,000 steps! There were lots of other walkers and runners on the route during my visit. There’s plenty of parking all around the lake. If you wanted to visit for longer, you could stop at the beach area where there is a diving platform and an inflatable water assault course during the summer!
Yoga in the Park
Why not finish off all the walking with a good stretch out in Petrifying Springs Park?! Yoga in the Park takes place from the middle of June to the middle of August, every Monday evening between 5.30pm – 6.30pm (last one of 2017 is August 14th). It’s completely free to take part in. Attendees are encouraged to take their own mat, there are a few available to borrow but they are on a first come first served basis (one guy ditched his mat in favour of using just a towel)!
Disclosure: Thanks again to Visit Kenosha for hosting my stay in Kenosha. Thoughts and opinions are always my own.
(Disclosure: The following links are affiliates. I receive a little commission on sales at no extra cost to you!)
The Fitbit Flex 2 is currently on sale on Amazon.com for $59.95 (I have the original Flex but that’s still $77 but I’m desperate for the Flex 2 as it is waterproof!)
Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap start on Amazon for around $12.40. The extra thick ones are better for knees!
Where to stay in Downtown Kenosha: Wyndham Garden Kenosha