I'm an Appleton, WI based family photographer that loves capturing genuine moments with laid-back playfulness.
Bubolz Nature Preserve is located in Appleton, WI and on the top of my list for places to visit. It’s one of those places that takes your breath away with how beautiful it is. It’s the perfect spot for families to explore, relax, and make memories together! This sounds bad, but until I started photography, I had never visited there before. It’s no wonder why it’s such a popular spot for families and photographers. I swear every time we go, I see a photographer!
Bubolz Nature Preserve can be accessed for free or you can become a member and support the preserve. Becoming a member has other benefits you can read about here, such as discounts and special events.
Photographers, please be aware that you need a permit to shoot at Bubolz. There are rules to follow, so make sure to look into a permit before you go there for a shoot.
One of the first stops when you get to Bubolz Nature Preserve has to be Turtle Pond. It’s very close to the entrance, which is great if you have little explorers in tow. It is true to its name because we always see turtles swimming there. There’s a small dock to walk out on and get a great view in the water.
Bubolz Nature Preserve has over 8 miles of trails to walk on. Some of them get pretty muddy, so wear old tennis shoes that can get dirty. The trails are clearly marked which I appreciate. Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the trails so keep that in mind before going.
One of my favorite spots at Bubolz is by the pine trees. They have a gorgeous area that is used for weddings that has numerous large pine trees. I also love the log cabin that is back in the woods by the pines. I used this spot for my limited edition holiday sessions in 2020.
Bubolz Nature Preserve is packed with variety, which is why it’s so popular. There are tons of wildflowers, ponds, trails, and even a playground for kids. It’s a small playground, but also has tunnels that kids can run through. It’s a great spot with an open field in front of it for kids to run around and get their energy out.
Bubolz holds community programs and camps in the summer and winter. They fill up, so make sure to sign up early or get on their email list to find out more about their programs and camps. Bubolz holds periodic special events on the trails such as frog catching, learning about insects, and even night hikes
Due to COVID, their indoor play area, Kenna’s Kabin, is currently closed. It looks like a great indoor spot for kids to learn and explore once it opens again.
Bubolz is one of my top locations to recommend for family, maternity, and senior photo shoots. It’s a great choice because there is so much variety for backgrounds. There are trails, trees, wildflowers, pine trees, and ponds. All seasons of the year are beautiful to shoot there. Enjoy wildflowers in the summer, vibrant colors in fall, and snow-covered trails in winter. Like I mentioned above, photographers need a permit to shoot there, so make sure to get one before going. Currently, it’s $100 per year for a permit.
I hope you take the time to venture out to Bubolz Nature Preserve. It is such a beautiful place and we are lucky to live so close to it. Walk the trails, look for butterflies, catch a frog, and pack a lunch for a fun morning or afternoon trek.
Some of my favorite shots from sessions I’ve done at Bubolz are below!