Hike the Lion's Den Gorge Loop



1.8 miles

Route Type


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.

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Known for

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area



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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.

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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.

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

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Hike the Quarry Lake Trail at Harrington Beach State Park

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