A Little Time and a Keyboard: Kohler-Andrae State Park: Hiking Where the Forest Meets the Beach

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Kohler-Andrae State Park: Hiking Where the Forest Meets the Beach

Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Hiking Where the Forest Meets the Beach

Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Hiking Where the Forest Meets the Beach

Kohler-Andrae State Park along Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin treated us to both a spectacular forest hike as well as a walk on the dunes above the beach. With a sunshine filled day, we appreciated fantastic view after fantastic view.



Lake Michigan peeking from just the other side of the trees at Kohler-Andrae State Park
Lake Michigan peeking from just the other side of the trees!

Wandering the Woodland Dunes Trail:

We began our journey wandering through the forest on the Woodland Dunes Trail. Overall, we found the trail gentle and peaceful. Tall pines greeted us throughout.

Starting on a lovely shaded trail at Kohler-Andrae State Park.
Starting on a lovely shaded trail at Kohler-Andrae State Park.
Signs along the trail detail elements of the ecosystem. Each sign was placed a nice distance apart from the previous allowing for plenty of time to walk in the peace of the forest.


Along the path, we observed a range of wildlife including deer! We were able to see the camping area as well. Such a beautiful spot for a repose! Several times, I stood under the tree canopy admiring the tall pines rising above.

Reveling in trees above reaching the sky at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Reveling in trees above reaching the sky!
Crystal Views of Lake Michigan:

Offshoot trails allowed us to revel in magnificent views of Lake Michigan. Each view sported a different natural frame of trees, vegetation and sand.

Veering from the main trail to enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Michigan.
Veering from the main trail to enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Michigan.
After completing the woodland trail, we headed to the trail up on the dunes. We arrived earlier in the morning but be the time we were ready to explore the dune trail, the beaches were more alive with beach goers and kayakers. What a splendid day!


A Tale of Two Parks:

Kohler-Andrae State Park actually combines two state parks into one unit! In 1966, the Kohler Company donated 280 acres as a memorial to company founder John Michael Kohler. Today, the Kohler Company is the second largest plumbing manufacturer in the nation. So, I am sure you are familiar with the name! In addition to remarkable achievements while managing Kohler, John Michael Kohler made many civic contributions to the Sheboygan area. This portion of the unit is the John Michael Kohler State Park in his honor.



President of Julius Andrae and Sons' Electric Company of Milwaukee Frank Theodore (Terry) Andrae purchased lakefront property from a retired fisherman. He would purchase some additional acreage and build a second home. After Andrae's death, his wife Elsbeth donated the land to the state. This portion would become the Terry Andrae State Park portion. In addition to the donations, Wisconsin would purchase another 600 acres. Together, they are all known as Kohler-Andrae State Park.



More History at Kohler-Andrae State Park:

Gazing at the lofty trees, I could feel history reaching back past the time of Kohler and Andrae State Park. The Chippewa, Sauk, Ottawa, Ho-Chunk, Menomonie and Potowatomi originally lived in environ of the parks calling it home. Fur trading would become important to the area. In the 1840's, settlers would come from the East. Fishing became an important occupation. You can feel all of this history around walking through the forest. I always say: "What stories do these trees have to tell?"

These unique adventures and discoveries are truly why hiking is fun for us. Nature is always changing and you never know what you will experience. Additionally, each park has its own history. Knowing the history of a preserve in addition to the nature can add to the richness of the experience. We loved the unique experience we found at Kohler-Andrae State Park. We look forward for future visits for lake views, forest bathing and exploring additional trails! I am certainly missing those spectacular views right now!

To Know About Kohler-Andrae State Park:
  • You will need a state park parking pass.
  • Camping is available.
  • There is a nature center with exhibits.
  • During our visit, there were mosquitoes so take precautions.
  • Horseback riding, biking, fishing, boating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more are available.
Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Hiking Where the Forest Meets the Beach

2 comments:

  1. Looks amazing! Definitely adding it to our list of state parks to visit.

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  2. I like the history of the park that you incorporated into your story. It is always great to know the story behind the story!

    ReplyDelete