Petersen Island Woods Preserve is a 40 acre preserve located at Lauderdale Lakes, on a peninsula between Green Lake and Middle Lake. The topography of this Preserve was sculpted by glacial activity, leaving a series of forested kettles. It is owned by Kettle Moraine Land Trust and open to the public for passive recreation such as hiking and nature study. This preserve has a hiking trail, Three Kettle Ridge Trail, with a Leopold bench that overlooks one of the deepest kettles. It also has a paved Overlook that provides a splendid view of another kettle on the property. When walking the trail, please use the boot brush stations located at each entrance to prevent the spread of invasive plants both onto and off of the property. The trail can be accessed from either Oak Park Road or West Shore Drive. Two parking spaces are reserved for trail users in the turnaround area located at the east end of Oak Park Road.

The Lauderdale Lakes Improvement Association donated the Island Woods property to Lauderdale Lakes Conservancy, which was later renamed the Kettle Moraine Land Trust. The Improvement Association continues to support this Preserve through significant annual donations to the Kettle Moraine Land Trust Stewardship Reserve.

The Marsh area located along the eastern boundary of the Preserve was purchased by Kettle Moraine Land Trust through a Wisconsin DNR Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grant made possible by a matching donation of a large portion of the property value by the Comer family.

During 2016, the Kettle Moraine Land Trust Board honored their founding President, Jerry Petersen, who had served in this role for 15 years by renaming the Land Trust's first Preserve, Petersen Island Woods Preserve. As shown in the photo, taken at the recognition presentation by the Kettle Moraine Land Trust Board, Jerry is joined by his family with the sign to be erected at the Oak Park Road entrance to the Three Kettle Ridge Trail.

Late in the summer of 2016, construction was started to enhance the Oak Park Road entrance to the Three Kettle Ridge trail, by inserting a few steps at the trail start to make access easier and more visible. At the same time, a paver area was added to increase the available space for donor recognition and the new preserve sign welcomes visitors to this sight. To view the construction work photo history, click here. The trail entrance area is called the Trailside Terrace.

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