Planning & Parks

Camping and Park Reservations

Make a reservation online for an Ozaukee County Park Space:Reserve

Treasures of Oz's 2022 Eco-Tour

Saturday, October 1st is Treasures of Oz's 2022 Eco-Tour in Ozaukee County! This is a free, family-friendly event! Three of the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department's restoration sites/parks will be featured with experts from the Department at each site; visit this Saturday from 9AM - 4PM!

Click the arrows to scroll through descriptions of the Department's sites!

Visit Treasure's of Oz's full event description here!

Mequon-Thiensville Dam Nature-like Fishway in Thiensville Village Park:

The fishway was constructed in 2010 and reconstructed in 2021-2022 to accommodate larger bodied fish (e.g., Lake Sturgeon) with support from multiple partners and is currently operated and maintained by the Village of Thiensville and the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department. The fishway design consists of rock-lined riffles and pools within a meandering stream-like channel built in the dam's former millpond area. Fish enter the fishway at the base of the dam and swim approximately 650 feet through the riffles and pools (resting areas) before re-entering the Milwaukee River above the dam. The fishway is located at Milwaukee River mile 20 and allows for fish passage an additional 12 mainstem river miles upstream.   Over 37 species of fish and multiple wildlife species have been documented passing through the fishway to bypass the 6.5 foot high dam.  For more information and to view the live underwater fishway camera, visit ozaukeefishway.org. Open: 9:00am - Noon

Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve County Park:

This NEW 56-acre County park includes 1,900 feet of restored stream shoreline on the Little Menomonee River. The Department recently completed a holistic, comprehensive habitat restoration of the river corridor (particularly for fish passage), adjacent floodplain, native vegetation habitat communities and constructed several new species specific wetlands.  The Department is currently working on a master plan for the park that will include passive recreational uses including hiking trails; visit the park to take a look at the long-term restoration plan and also watch active fisheries monitoring by Department staff. Three different wetland areas can be seen within the park, each with distinct habitats and functions. Open: Noon - 3:00pm

Virmond County Park:

Check out the magnificent Lake Michigan overlooks and surprising natural features of this coastal county park, including the first engineered and artistic Chimney Swift tower in Ozaukee. The Department has been working on comprehensive restoration projects at Virmond County Park over the last decade including invasive species management, stormwater and bluff management, tree planting and wetland and native prairie restoration.  Also, see the concept plans for the new Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve County Park and the new, near complete bluff stairway to the beach at Virmond County Park. Jeanne Lord will be presenting the Raptors of Pineview at 10 am. Open: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Update on Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve

On Monday, October 17th, Director of Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department, Andrew Struck, will give a presentation on the Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge preservation project and the latest good news, as well as his recent 1,000 mile Bicycle Ride for Lake Michigan around the Lake that is raising funds for this and two other projects that will conserve public access to Lake Michigan. The presentation is organized by Sierra Club, Great Waters Group; RSVP here!

Monday, October 17th, 2022; 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Ozaukee County Administrative Building: 121 W Main Street, Port Washington, WI 53074

New Pickleball Courts In Ozaukee County Parks

New pickleball courts were added in September 2022 to Virmond County Park in Mequon and to Waubedonia County Park in Fredonia!

Pickleball Court 4

Donate to Our Causes

The New Clay Bluff Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve County Park

Donate to help restore the 132-acre Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve in Port Washington, Wisconsin!

Ozaukee Interurban Trail Improvement Projects

Donate to help make improvements to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a paved 30-mile multi-use trail that runs through Ozaukee County.

As we celebrate 20 years of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, please consider donating $20 to help us maintain the trail for current and future users!

Virmond County Park Staircase Construction

Donate to help complete the construction of a unique, ecologically sensitive, low impact public access staircase to Lake Michigan at Virmond County Park in Mequon, Wisconsin. This is a critical project that will create and conserve public access to Lake Michigan! 

If you would prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to "Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department" with "Donation - Virmond County Park Stairway Project" in the note line.

Mail checks to:

Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department

Attn: Andrew Struck

121 W. Main Street, P.O. Box 994

Port Washington, WI 53704

Donors who give $100 or more may choose to have a brick engraved with a message of their choice as a permanent part of the path leading to the stairway. Visit our Donations & Gifts Page for more details!

Virmond Staircase Fundraising Banner, with thermometer 19,000

Hunting

Hunting will be offered at Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve and Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve in fall 2022.

Visit the Hunting Webpage to read more about hunting opportunities and obtain necessary permits.


Hunting Sign

Temporary Road Closure at Hawthorne Hills County Park

Hawthorne Hills Road Closure Map-page-001

Gift Guides

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Hiking Trail Reports

Visit the Wisconsin Trail Report website to see updated trail reports for some of our popular parks, as well as other trails across the state! This Trail Report is created through a collaborative effort between Travel Wisconsin and the Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Wisconsin Trail Report

Construction Update: H.H. Peters Youth Camp

The Planning and Parks Department recently completed a project at HH Peters Youth Camp to improve ADA accessibility and update aging infrastructure. Specifically, this included renovations to the men's and women's bathrooms, construction of an additional, ADA accessible bathroom, and modifications to the kitchen and safety room areas.

H.H. Peters, June 2022

Construction Update: Virmond Lake Access Staircase 

At this time, the staircase at Virmond County Park is NOT open. Construction on this unique public access stairway to Lake Michigan is approximately 85% complete. To date, this work was largely completed during the winter months. A phased construction schedule has been necessary due to grant funding timelines and suitable site conditions. Department staff, contractors, and other partners have been continually observing site conditions throughout for suitable, safe access to continue project activities. Due to recent toe erosion on the bluff, the Department recently completed revised design and engineering plans that will assist in completing the stairway to the beach. The Department is seeking additional donations to complete this final phase. The remaining construction work is expected to resume in late fall or winter 2022, with final completion in 2023!

More information can be found here.

Construction Update: Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve Building

The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department (Department) is constructing a new pavilion building at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve. The building includes indoor bathrooms and an open-air picnic shelter designed by Kueny Architects, LLC and constructed by Mike Koenig Construction Co, Inc. Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is the most visited park in the Ozaukee County Park System and until now, the park has been serviced by rental portable toilets, which have been inadequate due to increased park usage. This project is expected to greatly enhance the Park user experience.

Construction activities are scheduled to be significantly complete by Summer 2022. For additional project information, please contact the Department office at 262-238-8257. More info about the park can be found here.

Pavilion, July 15 2022, 1

Progress on the Pavilion,

July 2022

Construction Update: Covered Bridge Building

The Department and its consultant completed the design, engineering, and public bidding for a new multi-purpose building at Covered Bridge Park, which includes bathrooms, a picnic shelter, and a storage area for equipment and supplies. Construction of the building, by a private contractor, was recently completed. The new building is located at the southwest corner of the Park near Covered Bridge Road and Cedar Creek Road. The building design and exterior colors have been selected to complement the architecture and colors of the historic Covered Bridge. Covered Bridge Park is a highly visited site in the Ozaukee Park system and routinely is the location for large groups and events, including weddings. This project will improve Park user experience and alleviate the need for staff to bring in equipment and supplies for Parks maintenance from offsite.

More information about the park can be found here.

Covered Bridge Pavilion 9.16.22Photo Taken September 2022

Construction Update: Hawthorne Hills Building

The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department is constructing a multi-purpose building at Hawthorne Hills County Park, located at 4880 County Highway I in Saukville, WI. The project consists of constructing 2 levels of 3,388 square feet each for a total of 6,776 square feet and exterior covered area of 1,230 square feet multipurpose parks maintenance facility. The project includes indoor maintenance and equipment cleaning and storage areas, and office and meeting space. Public bathrooms and showers will be added in a subsequent phase. Construction activities are scheduled for Summer 2022.

More information about the park can be found here.

View the Building Plans

Multi-Purpose Building Rendering

Lost and Found

Think you may have lost something at an Ozaukee County Park? Email us to see if it was found and in our lost and found:

Email the Planning and Parks Department

Proposed amendment to the County-Owned Lands Zoning Ordinance/Map through addition of the “County Highway KK Property” and subsequent rezone to G-1. 

Public hearing scheduled during the Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee meeting Thursday, December 2nd, 8:00AM in the Auditorium of the Ozaukee County Administration Center, 121 W. Main Street, Port Washington, WI 53074.

Important COVID-19 Update:

At this time, all Ozaukee County Parks and facilities remain open. If you chose to visit one of the parks, please remember CDC guidelines.

Information about Department staff availability: To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect the health and safety of our communities, a majority of Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department staff are transitioning to telecommuting and will not be available in person. This move is consistent with public health guidance to limit exposure. Our staff who are able to work remotely will do so and will be able to respond to inquiries through email and Facebook. We are working with staff who cannot work remotely to accommodate their situations. Social distancing and preventing potential infections are key areas we can help with to hopefully curtail the impacts of this outbreak.

To contact Department Staff please reference the following list:

  • Andrew Struck, Director – Email
  • Matt Aho, Program Manager - Email
  • Jon Stahl, Golf Course Superintendent - Email
  • Tom Sheppard, Parks Superintendent - Email
  • Angie Richter, Natural Resources Technician and Administrative Assistant - Email
  • Natalie Cotter, Senior Planner - Email
  • Kristina (Tina) Kroening, Conservation Biologist - Email
  • Ryan Miller, FP/Ecological Program Assistant II - Email
  • Brittany Whyte, Natural Resources and GIS Technician - Email
  • Evan Hewes, Golf Courses Pro Shop Supervisor - Email
  • Ryan Mueller, Park Caretaker Waubedonia - Email
  • Troy Curd, Park Caretaker Mee-Kwon - Email
  • Greg Klein, Park Caretaker Virmond - Email

The Department phone number is still active and being monitored for calls: 262-284-8257

With an increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 in and around Ozaukee County, we are using the best information we have to take proactive steps to protect the health of our community. We know that outdoor spaces are critical to the mental and physical health of our community, now more than ever. We are doing our best to maintain the current level of services. Park visitors may want to bring hand sanitizer with them as they go out to our parks, just to be safe. At this time we are not able to wipe down playground equipment, tables, or other surfaces at the parks.

For more information on COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health page: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm

CDC Social Distancing

Mission


"To provide opportunities for Ozaukee County residents and visitors of Ozaukee County to appreciate and enjoy the natural and cultural resources, local ecology, recreational experiences, well planned sustainable growth and improved quality of life in Ozaukee County through the preservation, restoration and management of natural resources, increased awareness and education, stewardship, promotion of tourism, comprehensive planning, and the acquisition, development, enhancement and operation of large scale, intergovernmental recreational opportunities including exceptionally well-maintained golf courses, multi-use trails and parks."


Department Divisions



Department Publications and Reports

Ozaukee County Parks and Open Space Survey

Ozaukee County Golf Course Gift Cards

The Ozaukee County Fish Passage Program Accepts the Wisconsin DNR External Partner Award

WDNR External Partner Award
Award
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