It is Memorial Day weekend and whatdaya know… I have time for a trail! A quick one, though it was, perhaps about 2.5 miles along the Three Bridges section linking with Hank Aaron Trail.
This is a wonderful little secret that Milwaukee holds, mainly due to its youth. The county opened the first stent of the Hank Aaron in 2004. Most of the trail is in replacement of, or side-by-side to existing track. The Eastern end connecting with the Oak Leaf near our beloved Summerfest grounds. The Western end going near to the Zoo and a bit beyond, totaling 13.4 miles.
As in many cities, the use of trains and tracks usually coincides with a waterway and industry, so most certainly is the case for our history along the Milwaukee River. An attractive feature for settlers; the river running through with its gaping mouth upon Lake Michigan. This was the main draw to put Milwaukee on the map as one of the first in the region to colonize.
Running within “The Valley” (as the locals call it) the Three Bridges … well, are just that! Three renovated steel bridges that attach the pathway to the neighboring streets.
There is plenty of industrial influence mixed with our current generations’ attempt to incorporate nature into the middle of urban industry and (in some areas) dilapidation. The Valley is past the hay-days, and is now making a turnaround towards repurposed land and abandoned buildings. Not so much in creation as in entertainment. Along the length of Canal St we boast of Potawatomi Bingo and Casino, Harley Davidson Museum, The Domes and Miller Park home of The Brewers, intermixed amongst the rest of the producing corporations. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a picnic area, kayak or canoe launch and even a Community Garden!
The path is fully paved but there are many areas to branch off the set path, onto the beaten one, where many of the dogs or area thrill seekers choose to round the small inclines of berms and grassland elevations throughout. I would call it a moderate level, due to some elevation differences.
In a way, I was very happy to take this particular walk. It reminded me how life is ever-changing and evolving. It rather gave me a piece of mind that it’s ok when things don’t work out just the way I wanted or expected it to. That there can be life, peace and new growth along side hustle and bustle and desolation. It allows for hope and forgiveness.
Till next time, thanks for walking with me!