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Whether you’re embarking on your first visit to Schmeeckle Reserve or you have been here dozens or even hundreds of times, check out this list of ideas for how to spend your time in the natural area.

If you have …

30 minutes or more

  • Walk the Trail of Reflections, a half-mile loop that starts just south of the visitor center. Contemplate the famous quotations said by those who left behind an environmental legacy. Take a detour into the Treehouse. Rest on the swinging bench that overlooks the Reflection Pond.
  • Walk or jog the popular 0.9-mile Lake Loop Trail around Lake Joanis. Take in the spectacular views and watch for ducks, geese, turtles, and other wildlife.
  • Look for wetland wildlife and birds along the Cattail Marsh boardwalk, part of the Green Circle Trail just west of the visitor center.
  • Park at the Reserve entrance on Wood Lane and meander through the restored Moses Creek Wetland. Be sure to stop at the wetland overlook to look through the viewing scope and to swing in the carved bench.
  • Explore the Pankowski Friends Amphitheater.
  • Peruse field guides, books, and unique natural and cultural gifts at the gift shop in the visitor center.
  • Explore the Zimmerman Prairie next to the visitor center parking lot and count how many species of wildflowers and grasses you find.

1 hour or more

  • Bike across the northern tier of the Reserve on the Green Circle Trail. The Reserve includes 1.5 miles of this 27-mile trail that encircles the city of Stevens Point. From this section, continue either east or west to explore more of the Green Circle Trail. DSCN0029.JPG
  • See if your arms will wrap around 150-year-old oak trees in the Berard Oaks savanna.
  • Fish in Lake Joanis. Its waters are home to sunfish, perch, rock bass, large-mouth bass, crappies, walleyes, northern pike, and possibly even muskies.
  • From the visitor center, hike a 1-mile loop by heading east on the Green Circle Trail. Turn right (south) on the Plank Trail. At the junction with the Lake Loop Trail, turn left (west) to follow the northern shore of Lake Joanis. Turn right (north) onto the Frog Chorus Trail to return to the visitor center.
  • Bring a picnic lunch to eat in the Shelter Building just off Maria Drive. Walk the Granite Parkway, a half-mile trail. Until 1975, Reserve Street ran through this area. Yellow fire hydrants can still be seen in the woods near the trail.
  • Explore Wisconsin’s conservation history by visiting the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in the visitor center. Hands-on exhibits tell the state’s conservation story, while plaques honor the men and women who have made significant contributions to the state’s environmental legacy.
  • Attend one of the many public natural and cultural programs offered every fall and spring. E-mail to join our brochure mailing list.

2 hours or more

  • Slide a canoe, kayak, or rowboat into Lake Joanis. Paddle across to explore the island, or circumnavigate the edge of this 24-acre lake.
  • Attend a Candlelight Hike Festival, offered each fall and spring. The nighttime event features torch-lit trails, a campfire program, crafts and snacks, and hands-on Discovery Stations.
  • Aim to set foot on every trail in the Reserve!