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Discover Kenosha

Hike or bike ten parks and three historical districts or just a few with this flexible tour of Kenosha's lakefront.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 15.4 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Originally known as Pike, and later Southport, Kenosha officially gained it's name in 1850.

Kenosha, Wisconsin's fourth largest city,... more »

Tips:  If coming from the north, consider parking at Poerio Park Nature Center. This route can also be accessed by bike via the North Shore... more »

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Points of Interest

1. South Kenosha County Bike Trail Junction

Junction with the northern trailhead of the southern section of the Kenosha County Bike Trail. This is the most southern part of this guide and is a good location to park if you are coming from the south.

It can be accessed via the Robert McClory Bike Trail by bike or County EZ, a.k.a 39th Ave. and Lewis in Lake County, IL.

There is some parking... More

The Keno Drive-In's slogan is "Movies Under the Stars". This is absolutely true at one of the few remaining drive-in outdoor theaters.
A double feature starts at sunset every night of the season.

3. Kenosha Sand Dunes

Trails crisscross this area of sandy mounds on the shore of Lake Michigan. The Kenosha Sand Dunes are the northern most part of the Chiwauke Prairie State Natural Area.
Access is from 85th Street just behind the gate or from Southport Park.

4. Southport Beach House

The Southport Beach House was built in 1936 and named after Kenosha's original name. It is available to rent for events.
The rest of the park includes walking and biking paths, plenty of bench seats to take in the view, picnic areas, and a playground. At the south end is path which leads to the Kenosha Dunes.
Parking is available here. If you are ... More

5. Kemper Center

The Kemper Center is the centerpiece of Kenosha's Third Avenue Historic District-also know as the mansion district. Kemper Center began in the 1860s as the private home of Wisconsin's first senator, Charles Durkee. The property also served as a boarding school and Episcopal school for girls before it become a Kenosha County Park in 1977.

Tours... More

6. Wolfenbuttel Park

A wonderful gazebo set in a well maintained flower garden. Named after Kenosha's sister city in Germany.

A natural sciences and fine and decorative arts museum established in 1933. Exhibit programming includes world cultures, Native Americans, zoology, geology, fossils, and fine and decorative arts.

8. Lake Front Park

A paved path winds around a playground before it heads towards the lakefront and Kenosha Harbor.
To the East of the playground are restrooms, water fountains, and vending. Further East is a splash park offering a great way to cool off during the summer season.

9. Lake Michigan Scenic Overlook

An elevated spot on the water's edge with an unobstructed view of Lake Michigan.

10. Kenosha Harbor

An idyllic scenic spot for Lake Michigan and the photogenic Kenosha Pierhead Lighthouse on the Kenosha Harbor. A short walk to the southeast brings you to a fountain.

The Civil War Museum is dedicated to telling the personal stories and contributions of the men and women of the Upper Middle West - specifically, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.

The museum features many civil war displays and reenactments.

12. Kenosha Transit Electric Streetcar

The electric streetcar system features five refurbished authentic 1951 President’s Conference Committee (PCC) cars that once operated in Toronto, Canada. The streetcars run on a 1.7 mile loops that connects the Kenosha harbor area with the Kenosha Transit Center, the Metra rail service , and the Civic Center Historical District.

13. Simmons Island Park

Nested next to the harbor, the Simmons Island Park features a paved bike path, plenty of picnic areas, and a beach with playground and municipal bath house.
On the south side of Simmons Island is the Kenosha History Center, Kenosha (Southport) Lighthouse built in 1866, and the Pierhead Lighthouse.

14. Southport Light Station Museum

Part of the Kenosha History Center, the Southport Light Station Museum features the 1866 Southport Light house and Keepers Quarters.

The 1866-67 Southport Light Station and the 1917 Kenosha Water Utility pumping station (Kenosha History Center) together form the campus of Kenosha County Historical Society.
The Kenosha History Center collects and preserves artifacts, records and information vital to the understanding the history of the County's social, cultural, ethnic and... More

16. Sesquicentennial Bandshell in Pennoyer Park

Outdoor bandshell and outdoor home of the Kenosha Pops Orchestra during the summer.

17. Alford Park

A mostly undeveloped shoreline with a parking lot traversed by a paved bike path. Shaded picnic areas are available on the West side of Alford Park Drive.

18. Pike River

The bike path bridges over the Pike River on the Carthage College campus.

19. Poerio Park Nature Center

A fantastic park with an open air pavilion, ponds, nature trail, and hiking.

Parking is available here.

If you are coming from the north, this is a great place to park before getting further into Kenosha.

20. North Kenosha County Bike Trail/Petrifying Springs Connector Trail Junction

Junction with the northern section of the Kenosha County Bike Trail.

The North Kenosha County Bike Trail continues south back into Kenosha and north to the County Line where it meets the Racine County North Shore Trail.

Less than a hundred feet north is the Petrifying Springs Connector Trail which extends 2 miles west to the University of... More

21. Washington Park Velodrome

Opened in 1927, this is the oldest operating velodrome in the United States. It still remains a venue for bike racing from June to August each year.

The velodrome is one part of Washington Park which also includes a pool/waterpark, picnic areas, hiking, and the elusive Pike Creek.

Parking is available here.

22. Library Park Historic District

Library Park is one of four historic districts in Kenosha and includes some early twentieth century architecture, like the Gilbert M. Simmons Memorial Library, as well as Lincoln Statue and "Winged Victory" Monument.

23. Kenosha Metra Station

This is the northern terminus of the Union Pacific North (UP-N) Metra line. This railway connects to Chicago on the southern end and all the communities in between.
Metra does allow bikes on the train during non-rush hour trains. This is a great way to get to downtown Kenosha from communities further south as an alternative to car or bike.

24. Civic Center Park

Civic Center Park is centered in the Civic Center Historical District and is surrounded on all side by representative architecture. has a balance of large mature trees and lawn. The miniature Statue of Liberty sits at the center of the park and side- walks radiate through mature tree and lawn to the edges of the park. The Statue of Liberty was... More

The Dinosaur Discovery Museum focuses on the link between birds and meat-eating dinosaurs. The Carthage Institute of Paleontology is housed in the Museum, and it is dedicated to the preparation and conservation of real dinosaur fossils, boasting one of the most complete known fossil records.

Be sure to check out the buildings interesting history,... More

26. Kenosha County Bike Trail Parking on Springbrook Road

A small parking area with a connecting path to the Kenosha County Bike Trail. This is a good place to park if you are driving up from the south. The tour begins less than a mile north down the Kenosha County Bike Trail.

27. Pierhead Lighthouse

The Pierhead Lighthouse, built in 1906, stands 50 feet tall and is completely accessible by foot via the pier. Parking is available at the end of 51st Place.

28. Lake Michigan Scenic Overlook

An elevated spot on the water's edge with an unobstructed view of Lake Michigan.