West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

Take a hike...around Swan Lake

Fun, Nature, Tosa Landmarks

My friend Sue is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. So when I received an e-mail this past weekend with the subject line "Take a hike!," I figured that I must have blown it...big time. I really should have returned her call sooner. Turns out, Sue was just giving me a great suggestion for a fall excursion. Literally, she was telling me that I should take a hike!

So my husband and I set out last Sunday morning with our faithful dog Millie to follow Sue's route. We entered Underwood Parkway and parked near the Golf Practice area. (You can click on any photo to enlarge.)


We leashed up Millie and walked over to the gravel walkway that surrounds what some call Lake Wauwatosa, but I fondly call Swan Lake...that is when it's filled with water. We headed west on a cool, clear morning.


I have to tell you that I am NOT outdoor girl. I'm deathly afraid of bugs, birds and virtually all wildlife. But walking around Swan Lake, I felt invigorated by nature. I know, weird, huh?

Down in "the lake," which really doesn't have much water, geese and ducks are having a wonderful time.



We continued our walk around Swan Lake. For a while, we were the only people around. The fall colors were really lovely. (This photo doesn't really do it justice.)


We even saw tracks from some critters, here and there.  


And I didn't even freak out when an odd little bug crossed our path.


We passed a couple of people with their dogs as well as a few runners. Once we were alone again, we let Millie roam a bit. She was having a great time and for some reason was fascinated by goose poop.


I can tell you that our entire hike took about an hour, looping completely around Swan Lake, even passing under the Swan bridge twice. (Posted signs discourage pedestrians from walking across Swan Boulevard.)


It's funny to drive a mere five minutes from your house and feel like you're miles away. Sure, there might be better and more interesting hiking trails within driving distance, but right here in Tosa, Swan Lake is a great place to start. Follow Sue's advice and take a hike!

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