Explore the best Milwaukee has to offer with VISITMilwaukee and OnMilwaukee this summer by "Urban Exploring." We'll be sharing parks to hike, walls to climb, rivers to paddle, trails to bike and so much more. Be a tourist in your own town and experience it with us!
I spent the afternoon wandering around one of Milwaukee’s most lush and serene natural settings: Seven Bridges Trail in South Milwaukee’s Grant Park.
At the trailhead, there’s a covered bridge bearing the inscription "Enter this wild wood and view the haunts of nature" and the witchy words are, in part, why Seven Bridges is often said to be haunted. Allegedly, several people have committed suicide by jumping off a bridge or hanging themselves in the park and some visitors claim to have seen colorful glowing lights, heard unidentifiable voices or screeches and reported sightings of a creature that looks like a cross between a human and a praying mantis.
I’m always up for a good, old-fashioned spooking, but the most supernatural thing I saw today at Seven Bridges were some wickedly twisty tree shadows on the Lannon stone path and a "face" in the bark of a tree that was most likely carved by a teenager.
There are seven bridges at Seven Bridges, as there should be, along with an abundance of beech trees, a wooded ravine, wildflowers, stone steps, brooks, limestone walls and a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. The hike can be as easy or challenging as you desire – at times we strolled slowly and other times ran up and down steep hills.
Seven Bridges was constructed by a WPA crew during the Great Depression and is considered by many the centerpiece of the County Park System. I couldn’t agree more.
If you find yourself feeling lost at Seven Bridges, or not sure which way to walk when presented with a trail split, you are doing it exactly right. Just keep walking and absorbing the sights, sounds and smells around you and all too soon you’ll find yourself back at the entrance and in a far-less-magical world.
Here are seven more photos from my visit today:
2. The Great Wall of South Milwaukee
3. There she is
4. Walk on down
5. The a-bridge-d version
6. Three-petal perfection
7. Watch it, there might be ghosts up there
Seven Bridges is free to access and open during regular park hours.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.