Travel With Friends
Whether the destination is near or far, the Friends offer meaningful, well-planned trips geared toward travelers who appreciate the beauty and complexity of nature and are eager to learn more from experts carefully selected to guide the tours.
Upcoming trips include:
- Experience Yellowstone National Park in Winter with Friends of the Arboretum - February 7-14, 2014- Filled
- Cedarburg Bog and Eastern Wisconsin Natural Areas - May 20, 2014 - Filled
- Horicon Marsh Trip - June 4, 2014 Filled
- Following in the Footprints of the Glacier - September 9, 2014 (registrations closed)
- Mississippi River Fall Migration Cruise - November 5, 2014 Filled November 11, 2014 Filled
- Chicago Field Museum - February 27, 2015
- Southeast Arizona: Nature, Culture and Culinary Delights - March 6-12, 2015
- Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes Park Deluxe Tour - September 12-18, 2015
Cedarburg Bog and Eastern Wisconsin Natural Areas- Filled
May 20, 2014
Join fellow members of the Friends for a unique opportunity to explore several significant natural areas in southeastern Wisconsin. We will start our day with a guided tour of Cedarburg Bog, take a break for a hearty lunch at the Riverside Brewery in West Bend, and in the afternoon we will explore other natural areas as we wind our way back to the Arboretum.
Many of the last remnants of Wisconsin's native landscapes are protected under the State Natural Areas system. These areas are important places for scientific research, ecological restoration and recreation. They protect more than 90 percent of the plants and 75 percent of the animals on Wisconsin's lists of endangered and threatened species.
Cedarburg Bog, in Ozaukee County, is one of the largest and most diverse wetlands remaining in southeastern Wisconsin. The most unusual feature is North America's southernmost "string bog," consisting of lines ("strings") of stunted cedars and tamarack trees alternating with sedge-dominated flats, more typical of northern boreal regions.
Cedarburg Bog is home to a diverse collection of plants and animals, including several carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and sundews. It is a habitat for both breeding and migrating birds, and is particularly valuable for its ability to support northern birds breeding at the southern limit of their range.
The uniqueness of Cedarburg Bog has been acknowledged by its inclusion in several state, national and international scientific programs. It is jointly owned by the Wisconsin DNR and UW-Milwaukee, which maintains a Field Station for educational programs and research. Our tour of this area will be led by Dr. Jim Reinartz, plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist, director of the UW-Milwaukee Field Station, adjunct professor of biological sciences, and recipient of the Friends-sponsored Henry C. Greene Award for Innovative Approaches in Restoration, one of the Leopold Restoration Awards.
After lunch we will explore several other significant State Natural Areas. Mark Martin, retired DNR Natural Areas Manager, and Chuck Pils, retired director of the DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, will lead this portion of our tour. Both are experienced tour leaders and intimately familiar with Wisconsin's natural areas.
The walk at the Field Station will be approximately 2 miles on trails with gentle terrain and on a 2 foot-wide boardwalk. Sturdy shoes, clothing for outdoors, snacks, field guides, and binoculars are recommended. The trip is limited to 40 people and goes rain or shine! The fee includes lunch, professional tour guides, and motor coach transportation.
The trip fee is $100 for members and $140 for non-members (includes a 1-year basic Friends membership). We leave at 7 a.m. from the Arboretum Visitor Center and return at 5 p.m.
If you have questions about this trip, send an e-mail to Friends Manager Sara Minkoff or phone her at 608.263.7760
Explore Horicon Marsh - June 4, 2014 Filled
Experience spring migration at Horicon Marsh, the "Little Everglades of the North." Enjoy seeking out some of the more than 260 species of birds Horicon Marsh has to offer. Bring your bird book and binoculars -- let's go birding!
This tour of the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States includes a trip into the marsh aboard a pontoon boat, lunch and a naturalist-led walking tour.
We will journey into the heart of the marsh on a 2-hour, pontoon boat birding tour, exploring Wisconsin's only "Wetland of International Importance."
After a hearty lunch at the Iron Ridge Inn, Liz Herzmann, DNR naturalist and wildlife educator, will present an illustrated history of Horicon Marsh before leading a walking tour of the southern marsh while discussing its cultural and natural history and highlighting the abundant and diverse wildlife.
Dress for the weather; we will be spending most of the day outdoors. Sturdy shoes, clothing for outdoors, snacks, field guides and binoculars are recommended.
The trip is limited to 50 people. The cost for the trip is $95 for members of Friends and $130 for non-members (includes a membership in Friends). We will leave from the Arboretum Visitor Center at 7:30 a.m. and return to the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m. Please plan to arrive at the Arboretum Visitor Center about 15 minutes prior to departure.
Questions? Send an e-mail to Friends Manager Sara Minkoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Friends office at 608.263.7760.
Following in the Footprints of the Glacier
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Curious to learn more about Wisconsin’s geological features? Interested in decoding drumlins and moraines, and understanding more about how ancient seas, torrential rivers, persistent winds, and gigantic masses of ice have shaped the natural landscapes seen in today’s Dane County?
Led by Arboretum naturalists Sue Bridson, Miguela Fry and Stephanie Williams, this trip offers a close-up look at the glacial geology of western Dane County. We start the morning with a 25-minute indoor presentation, a virtual tour of the rocks and landforms we will see on our trip.
Then, we’ll head out to Pope Farm Conservancy for a sweeping view of local glacial features, take a short woodland hike on part of Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail to view Wilkie Gorge, visit a glacial-outwash working quarry, and a stop at a 450-million-year-old ocean floor to hunt for fossils.
We will have a gourmet lunch at The Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie. Its rich history dates back to pre-Civil War 1857, the year the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad Company arrived from Milwaukee, platted Mazomanie, and continued its drive to Prairie du Chien to create the first rail connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system.
While in the Mazomanie area, they also developed a water power supply for a new flouring mill, what is now The Old Feed Mill. The building, on the National Register of Historic Places, received a prestigious Certificate of Commendation from the Wisconsin State Historical Society, after three years of painstaking restoration.
Sturdy shoes, clothing for outdoors, snacks, field guides and binoculars are recommended. The fee for the trip includes a copy of "Landscapes of Dane County," a publication from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, lunch, professional tour guides, handouts and motor coach transportation. Tour goes rain or shine!
The trip fee is $100 for members and $140 for non-members (includes a 1-year basic Friends membership). Please plan to arrive by 8 a.m. at the Arboretum Visitor Center. We plan to return to the Visitor Center at 4 p.m.
If you have questions about this trip, send an e-mail to Friends Manager Sara Minkoff or phone her at 608.263.7760.
Fall Migration Cruise: Explore the Wetlands and Wildlife of the Mississippi River by Riverboat November 5, 2014 (Filled) November 11, 2014 (Filled)
The November 5, 2014 trip is filled, but you can still join the Friends of the Arboretum on November 11 for a unique three-hour expertly narrated riverboat tour of the Upper Mississippi River. We'll explore a variety of wetland habitats including open water, narrow backwaters and side channels along riverside cliffs and floodplain forests.
With the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge known as one of the most noteworthy bird migration flyways in the world, we expect to see a variety of migrating and resident birds.
Even though we can expect brisk temperatures, participants will experience amazing close-up views of thousands of elegant tundra swans and hundreds of a wide variety of other waterfowl plus numerous bald eagles and other wildlife. The 261-mile refuge is the longest river refuge in the continental US and well known as bird watchers paradise.
We will board our US Coast Guard-inspected eco-boat, specially designed to navigate otherwise inaccessible waters of the Mississippi, at Lansing, Iowa and explore Pool 9 of the Wildlife Refuge as well as the backwaters and open channel nearby.
Along the way, we will enjoy a narrated tour from our USCG-licensed captain, who will share information about the river, navigation, history and people. We will also have an experienced birder and a river historian on board to provide information and identification.
This tour offers visitors a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty and natural wonders of the Upper Mississippi River in the comfort of the Mississippi Explorer, a specially designed, enclosed and heated vessel (with on board restrooms) offering protection from inclement weather while providing exceptional views.
Dress for the weather, we'll go rain or shine. Be sure to bring your cameras and binoculars!
The fee for this trip is $100 for members and $140 for non-members (which includes a Friends membership) and includes our motor coach transportation, box lunch, guide, and Mississippi River chartered boat trip. The trip is limited to 50 people.
We will be departing from the Arboretum Visitor Center at 7:30 a.m. and returning there at about 5 p.m. Please plan to arrive at the Arboretum Visitor Center about 15 minutes prior to departure.
If you have questions about this trip, send an e-mail to Friends Manager Sara Minkoff or phone her at 608.263.7760
Chicago Field Museum: Behind the Scenes Access and Docent-led Special Tour
February 27, 2015
Did you know that the Field Museum houses nearly 26 million specimens and artifacts? Less than 1 percent of these are on display to the public. On this tour we will go behind the scenes and visit the storerooms and working laboratories that house these hidden collections.
We begin with the "Vikings" exhibit. A docent presentation will provide valuable background information. This display features nearly 500 original objects from the Swedish History Museum which are rarely shown outside of Scandinavia and includes touch screens, hands-on activities, videos and sound installations. Discover how our knowledge of Viking culture has changed dramatically as a result of recent discoveries, challenging our image of the Viking Age and casting out common stereotypes while revealing their fascinating culture in a new, more nuanced and intriguing light.
Next, we will go behind the scenes under the guidance of a museum curator into non-public collections areas. In the Zoology and Entomology Departments, a museum scientist will give us a close-up view of the museum’s insect collection and the area where researchers work.
We’ll also visit the offices of Peggy MacNamara, the museum's Artist-in-Residence, and the Bird Specimen Preparation Lab. MacNamar's colorful, life-like paintings of nature have resulted in numerous books inspired by the collections and have given thousands of people the opportunity to see the beauty of biodiversity through the eyes of an artist.
After a lunch break on your own in the museum’s Field Bistro, which features locally grown or produced menu items, you are free to explore the museum’s 35 permanent exhibits, including their core collections. These exhibits include: Inside Ancient Egypt, Native American Hall, the Grainger Hall of Gems, the Hall of Jade, and the Evolving Planet.
The museum's 35 permanent exhibits feature their core collections. These exhibits include: "Inside Ancient Egypt," an extended display of Egyptian artifacts including 23 mummies and a tomb with 5,000-year-old hieroglyph, Native American Hall, the Grainger Hall of Gems, the Hall of Jade, Ancient Americas, and the Evolving Planet, a display spanning 4 billion years of life on Earth.
The trip fee includes motor coach transportation, basic admission and two special guided experiences: a behind-the-scenes curator-led tour, and a docent-led presentation related to the temporary Vikings exhibit. The trip is limited to 50 people.
We will be departing from the Arboretum Visitor Center at 6:30 a.m. and returning there at about 6:30 p.m. Please plan to arrive at the Arboretum Visitor Center about 15 minutes prior to departure.
Southeast Arizona: Nature, Culture and Culinary Delights
March 6 - 12, 2015
Remember Wisconsin last March? No polar vortex here! Imagine warm desert winds, majestic mountains, forests of saguaro cacti and western sunsets as you explore the natural, cultural and culinary delights of the American Southwest. Bring out the shorts and sunglasses and prepare your taste buds for a delightful experience.
We meet in Phoenix and begin our exploration of the area at the Heard Museum of American Indian Art and History’s Indian Fair and Market, an acclaimed cultural event that draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most outstanding American Indian artists.
Our next stop is Casa Grande National Monument en route to Tucson, our home for the next five days. We’ll visit the world-class Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, a saguaro cactus forest, Kartchner Caverns and Mission San Xavier.
Our escorts will be Friends member and retired wildlife ecologist Chuck Pils, along with Paul Regnier, expert tour manager and well-traveled naturalist.
We’ll take a desert hike and dine in a variety of the area’s restaurants; visit the most biologically diverse American desert; meander through a wet cave (in the dry desert!); stop at an active, historical and spiritual center of the Tohono O’odham; and possibly dip our toes in a clear mountain stream.
The tour begins in Phoenix and ends in Tucson and does not include airfare. A tour extension focusing on bird-watching may be available if there is enough interest.
This tour includes accommodations, ground transportation, guides, entrance and park fees, and most meals.
This is a small group tour; early registration is recommended. The cost is $2199 for double occupancy or $2729 for a single supplement. If you are interested in participating and/or want additional information, contact tour manager Paul Regnier at 920.493.1572 or email@example.com. , or Friends of the Arboretum Manager Sara Minkoff at 608.263.7760 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes Park Deluxe Tour
September 12–18, 2015
Join Friends members in a tour of geologically carved, mountain encrusted and biologically diverse landscapes of the Northern Rocky Mountains. The wilderness aesthetics alone can give you sensory overload!
Delight in experiencing two of the most heralded continental parks in the world and the first park of its kind, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. It’s no wonder that both Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Parks are designated as World Heritage Sites and International Biosphere Reserves. Delight also in our stay in historic lodges reflecting western mindsets of the early 1900s, when large timber created folk heroes and the birth of the National Parks idea took hold.
Tour highlights include traversing the continental divide via Going-to-the-Sun Road aboard a historic "jammer" bus – a reconditioned antique red bus. This route is one of the country’s most beautiful mountain roadways offering views of rugged McDonald Valley complete with jagged mountain peaks, glacial lakes and deep green pine forests.
Our scenic boat trip cruises the northern waters to walking paths and international borders. Rustic comfort in the Park’s historic lodges is our home for six nights. These are the lodges that housed American travelers for more than 100 years, complete with creaking floors, tree trunks as major support posts, and windows opening on indescribable views of the Rockies.
Two value-added features are a one-and-one-half day private, narrated coach tour from a Blackfeet perspective, and a one-night stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel across the Canadian border. The Blackfeet tour concentrates on Glacier’s natural features relevant to the Blackfeet Nation, past and present, with spiritual and philosophical highlights. Free time to absorb all the surrounding natural beauty is also included in the schedule.
Our escorts will be Friends member and retired wildlife ecologist Chuck Pils, along with Paul Regnier, expert tour manager and well-traveled naturalist. Our tour includes six nights in historic lodge accommodations, ground transportation (Red Bus and coach), luggage transport, entrance and park fees, and most meals.
The tour begins and ends at Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park and does not include airfare. A tour extension focusing on easy to moderate hiking may be available if there is enough interest.
This is a small group tour and early registration is recommended. Price is subject to receiving 2015 rates, but is estimated to be between $2650-$2850 per person double occupancy. You will be notified as soon as rates become available. If you are interested in participating and/or want additional information,contact tour manager Paul Regnier at 920.493.1572 or email@example.com. or Friends of the Arboretum Manager Sara Minkoff at 608.263.7760 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a flyer and share with your friends by clicking here.