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Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve - History


This 73-acre park was part of an undeveloped Lake Michigan Shoreline property in the Town of Grafton, which contained a portion of the Lion’s Den Gorge Natural Area.  With the assistance of several private donations and public grants, the property was purchased by the County from Dr. Ghulum Dhar in 2002.    The park offers tremendous viewing and educational opportunities, including access to a Natural Area that has remained untouched since before the European settlement of Wisconsin.  The park is also adjacent to a 44-acre Waterfowl Production Area, owned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

An asphalt driveway/parking lot, informational kiosk, gravel trails, trail bridges and stairways, bluff vistas, and several elevated board walk trails have been added to the park between 2003 and 2008.   These improvements serve as the “infrastructure” to encourage nature education and appreciation, by providing public access to  many unique ecosystems.  This public access includes almost 0.7 miles of 90 to 100 foot high bluffs looking out onto Lake Michigan and a mixture of wetland/upland  areas that provide diverse habitats for native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees that are useful for all types of wildlife, such as migratory birds, game birds and waterfowl, amphibians, and mammals.  The park has quickly become a favorite scenic, hiking, and picnic spot for many residents and visitors. 


The Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is an “ecological jewel” within the Ozaukee County park system.  This park is a prototype for the planning and implementation of other “Nature Preserves” within the County park system that respects local ecology. Recreational features currently available at Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve include:
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Bird watching
  • Picnicking
  • Off road parking areas
  •   Photos: Courtesy of Gary Mulder

    Picnic tables and portable toilets are available at the park.  Currently many people are using this park for nature walks, educational tours and photo shoots.  Park reservations can be made for any large group events, by calling 262-284-8257.   For questions regarding the park, contact the Planning & Parks Department.

    511 High Bluff Drive, Grafton, Wisconsin 53024
    PH: 262-284-8257
    262-238-8257 or FAX: 262-238-8269

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    Ozaukee County Planning & Parks Department