Hike the Lion's Den Gorge Loop

Details

Distance

1.8 miles

Route Type

Loop

Added by Jon Mattrisch

Stunning views of Lake Michigan. Five story bluffs. Beautiful nature scenes. Dozens of acres of trails and exploration. All just 30 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee, WI. If you're looking to capture some beautiful pictures of Wisconsin, or just want to hike along the shores of Lake Michigan, Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve is where you need to be.

Lion's Den Gorge is a gorgeous nature preserve featuring a variety of unique nature scenes. The park includes massive bluffs, sand dunes, forests, creeks and bridges, hiking trails and stunning vistas of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The preserve is 72 acres and is located in the town of Grafton, just north of Milwaukee. You won't need a vehicle pass or any paid admission to visit the preserve.

Read More

Known for

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Nearby

Reviews

Leave a Review

Beautiful and easy to get to

This used to be less well known, but because of "stay at home" and covid, it's much more popular since people are exploring their own backyards again, which I guess is a good thing, but makes for more crowds! The first time I came here I couldn't believe the color of the water, it looks like you are in the Caribbean! It's beautiful, there are monarchs flying all around you, and it's an easy hike.  If you come here just for this hike take the time to drive into Cedarburg and wander around their downtown. It's really cute! Lots of options for coffee or a meal, including Fiddleheads Coffee!

Gorgeous icy winter hike

beautiful views. we went after several snowstorms/melting/refreezing and the trails were covered in ice so it was a bit slippery but well worth it for the scenery.

Hidden Gem near Milwaukee

What a great place to go and explore Lake Michigan. These views are uncompromised in the area!

Absolutely beautiful!

Easy trails with scenic views and a few hidden spots off the beaten path. A perfect little afternoon adventure.

Easy day

There are a lot of paths to follow that all loop back to the parking lot. My children came along. They love the lake hikes that we go on. It was nice to hear the roar of the lake as we came in to the shore from the stairway. We did need a little more adventure than the marked pathway so we hoped of and trekked a bit off the path. It is definitely a beginners fun easy hike. With beautiful sights.

Great place to explore!

Loved it! My sister-in-law and I went hiking there this morning. Beautiful views of Lake Michigan, and very easy hiking for new adventurers. It's not a huge park, so it's very doable to explore the whole thing in a morning.

Great Place To Spend The Day!

My boyfriend and I frequent Lions Den. We love the variety of trails and the rocky beach area is beautiful! It is also just a short drive up the shore to Port Washington which is a great little town to have lunch (or a margarita) at Beanies Mexican Restaurant which have swings instead of bar stools!

Stay on the trail

The first time I went, I was a little bored. So I scaled down the embankment down to the lake. If only I had stayed on the the trail. . .I have been back multiple times and stayed on the trail because the staircase offers some great scenery and I still get to the same place. 5/5 because it is family friendly.

Open Year 'Round

This is a beautiful preserve on the lakefront, connected to a wetland complex owned by the USFWS. I live nearby and have been to this park in every season and wanted to note that it's open during the winter. The trails can get a little icy but it's just as lovely covered in snow. It can get pretty busy in the summer and on weekends so the colder months have become my favorite time to visit.

Perfect For All Ages

Lion's Den is gorgeous! I went for the second time this weekend after discovering that this place existed. Both times, the weather was very different and it made the place feel completely different. There are so many landscapes to see ranging from the beach to the bluffs and the wetland. It's basically flat the entire time except for the steps to the beach so it is great for anyone who wants to get outdoors

532 total saves

4.7/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Bluff Trail to the stairs at Lion's Den Gorge

4.0
1.7 mi / 100 ft gain

Hike the shore of Lake Michigan at Doctor's Park

2 mi / 100 ft gain

Hike the North and South Beach Trail at Harrington Beach State Park

2 mi / 10 ft gain

Hike the Quarry Lake Trail at Harrington Beach State Park

1 mi / 15 ft gain
More Nearby Adventures