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Hike the Beer Line Loop for National Trails Day

by Vince Bushell

“See the Pyramids along the Nile…” oops, wrong river, wrong song. “Roll out the barrel…” oh, never mind, but there is an active brewery on the River (Lakefront Brewery, 1872 N. Commerce St.), and if you join us on this first Saturday in June you will see where it is, among the condos and near the Milwaukee Rowing Club boat house, which is under construction. You will also see why it is so important to save the existing green space along these trails, set in the heart of Milwaukee’s densely populated neighborhoods — Riverwest, Lower East Side, Brewers Hill, Harambee, and Riverside. The hike starts in Riverwest at Gordon Park by the new park facilities — a hall, splash pad, and play fields. I, Vince Bushell, a Riverwester, and Kimberly Gleffe of the River Revitalization Foundation (RRF) will lead the hike. Gordon Park has a parking lot that can be entered from Humboldt just south of Locust Street. After gathering at the park, we will walk down the railroad right of way purchased by RRF that is destined to become a bike and hike paved trail. At North Avenue we will hike under the bridge to Riverboat Road to the remnants of the dam. A foot bridge will be built here by the City of Milwaukee as part of the Beer Line Tax Improvement District. This bridge is key to linking the east and west banks of the Milwaukee River and the developing trail systems on each side including the planned extension of the Riverwalk upstream to the Humboldt Bridge. We will cross the River at the Humboldt Bridge, looking downstream towards Kilbourn Park and the ongoing redevelopment including the boathouse, trails system, and the Brewery. Walking up Pulaski Street, which rumor says was an old cow trail, we will walk through Pulaski Playground which was rehabilitated with input and funds from both the City and the neighbors (East Village Association). Leaving Pulaski’s ball field on the east side of the park, it is a short walk to the stairs down to Caesar’s Park (often called Caesar’s Pool, as there once was a small pool there). Caesar’s Park is the east landing for the pedestrian bridge over the old dam. It is also the trail head for a hiking path to be developed that will run upstream from this point to Riverside Park and the Urban Ecology Center. We will hike this route into Riverside Park to the existing Urban Ecology Center and its interactive play area. We will walk back through the woods of Riverside to Locust Street, cross the bridge and we are back in Gordon Park. The hike is about three miles, and no registration is necessary for this tour. Just show up at 10 a.m. in Gordon Park near the parking lot, rain or shine. Questions? Call River Revitalization Foundation at 271-8000 or Vince at the Riverwest Currents at 265-7278. The event is coordinated by Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers (FMR), River Revitalization Foundation (RRF), National Park Service Rivers and Trails, Urban Ecology Center, Riverwest Currents, and the East North Avenue BID. Simultaneously, in conjunction with the East North Avenue Bid and FMR, a river clean up will be held (starting at 10 a.m.) underneath the North Avenue bridge. If you are interested in the clean up, you can stop your hike at North Avenue and participate or meet there at 10 a.m. Questions on the clean up should be addressed to Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers at 476-6042. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 6 – June 2003

SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 10AM HIKE THE BEER LINE LOOP Meet at Gordon Park, near the parking lot. Rain or shine. For more info, call Vince at the Riverwest Currents, 265-7278. RIVER CLEAN-UP River clean up to celebrate National Trails Day. Meet under the North Avenue bridge. For more info, call Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers, 476-6042. No RSVP needed, just come if you can!

by Vince Bushell