WI Kenosha Bristol Woods Trails
Bristol Woods County Park - Kenosha, Wisconsin
Bristol Woods Park is part of the Kenosha County Park System. The Park has over four miles of wooded trails suitable for hiking, trail running, and cross country skiing. The trail surface may be wood chips, grass, dirt, or crushed stone depending on the section of the trail. Although you can ride a mountain bike on the trails, the trail is usually soft and wet and is therefore not the best surface for biking.
- Terrain / Scenery: Heavily wooded park with some small hills. Moderately wide woodchip or natural surfaced trails
- Fees / Permits: None
- Trail Conditions and updates:. See Discussion Page to view or post trail updates
- Trail Markings: Color coded with maps at key intersections
- Official Web Page: See Pringle Nature Center
- Getting There: Bristol Woods Park is located West of the city of Kenosha on County Road MB (160th Ave.) just South of County Road C. There is a large sign at the entrance. Google Map
The trails can be accessed from several locations in the park including behind the playground by the first parking area, behind the Pringle Nature Center (the small building at the end of the second parking area), or by the small pond. In recent years they have done a nice job of marking the trails. The trails are all color coded and there are maps located at many of the key intersections. The Red Trail is the primary trail and the longest single loop at 1.66 miles. The Green Trail is the second longest loop at 1.18 miles and can easily be combined with the Red Trail to make a longer loop. These trails hold moisture well and can be rather muddy in the spring; the Red Trail has more of a wood chip/mulch surface so it is the better choice when conditions are wet. You can also get some serious mosquito activity here in June and July so be prepared.
Though there isn't anything you could really call a big hill, there are quite a few smaller hills and the trail winds through the woods in a manner that keeps things interesting (there are very few flat straight sections). There is also an elevated observation platform on top of a ridge on the Green Trail (see my map for location of platform).
There are numbered markers along the Red trail that are part of self-guided nature trail (map and index available from Pringle Nature Center website ).
Bristol Woods Trail Map
Cross country skiing:
These trails are not groomed but are frequented by hikers and snowshoers (and quite a few dogs) throughout the winter, so expect the snow to be trampled, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for ungroomed skiing. You'll also likely encounter quite a few downed branches on the trail. That being said, this is still a nice local trail system to do some classical skiing and maybe even some skating under the right conditions. Some of the hills can get a little tricky in icy conditions because some of the turns can be a bit tight, but overall this is a wide trail system that is set up pretty well for XC skiing. Since the entire trail system is in the woods, the trails hold snow well and are often still skiable well after the other area trails have lost their snow. You can ski any direction on the trails. My preference for this system is clockwise, but because the trail system is rather small I'll usually ski it multiple times in various directions mixing up loop variations by using some of the alternate trails (white, blue). Though I certainly don't do it on a regular basis, I have on occasion come out here with my snowshoes to improve upon the packed trails (especially the downhills) to make skiing a bit faster with better flow. If you've got some snowshoes, feel free to do the same (see the video on the right).
Snowshoeing has become very popular on these trails since the Pringle Nature Center started renting snowshoes and promoting snowshoeing on the trails. See their site for more information on rentals and special events.