The Wisconsin State Fair is so known for its “food on a stick” stands that local newspapers publish lists of what, and where, you can find, among others, burgers on a stick, fried bananas on a stick, meatballs on a stick, deep fried Snickers bars on a stick and cheesecake on a stick. And let’s not forget our favorite; bacon dipped in chocolate. On a stick. If you’ve ever wanted to eat more than 4000 calories in less then 10 minutes or shock yourself into getting motivated to workout the Wisconsin State Fair is the place for you.
Unfortunately the Fair is not the place to advance your conditioning, so to counteract the effects of the chocolate bacon we suggest a run along the the Lake Drive Loop; a scenic and fast route on Milwaukee’s Eastside that spends most of its time winding along the shore of Lake Michigan and through some of the most architecturally stunning neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
Lake Drive is where old Milwaukee money moved to escape the urban center; building huge and gorgeous homes on the bluffs that overlook the Lake. This setting forms the backbone of the run; which starts at Alterra at the Lake and heads South toward the Milwaukee Art Museum and downtown before turning north into Milwaukee’s hip Eastside and the Lake Drive neighborhoods. The run then turns back south and down to the lakeshore for a couple of miles before returning to the coffee house.
Although this run is relatively flat it stands out for a number of reasons; there are an abundance of long stair cases that can provide some cross-training options, among them the Atwater Stairs which can be reached via a 2 mile out and back. The architecture along the route is truly some of the most stunning of any city we’ve run in, and the Lake Michigan setting provides cooler temperatures and draws some of Milwaukee’s fit and active pretty young things, further enhancing the scenery. The route is also good for interval work, as the long and flat stretches provide an ideal environment for speed work. And best of all, the run starts and ends at Alterra at the Lake, our favorite Milwaukee coffee shop/recovery zone. Perfect for recovering from chocolate bacon on a stick.
Do it because: the great scenery, the cross-training options, the coffee and the fast route
Distance: 6.25 miles round trip.
Directions: from Alterra at the Lake (corner of Park Road and North Lincoln Memorial Drive) and head South (toward downtown Milwaukee) along the sidewalk. The sidewalk will end, but there is a short dirt path that heads up to paved trail. Continue to head south on the trail which will bring you to the Art Museum and North Prospect Ave. Head North (away from downtown) on Prospect which will wind past upscale condo highrises and into Milwaukee’s East Side.
At East Lafayette Place take a right and head toward the Lake. East Lafayette turns into North Terrace Ave, which heads North past the Watertower. At the Watertower, cross Park and continue to head North on North Wahl Ave., which intersects with Lake Drive. Continue North on Lake Drive until it intersects with North Lincoln Memorial Drive. From there head down the hill, toward the Lake and take North Lincoln back to the coffee shop.