Avoca Prairie & Savanna, SNA #68 (14/674)

The largest natural tallgrass prairie east of the Mississippi River is found at Avoca Prairie & Savanna, just northwest of the town of Avoca and directly across the river from Gotham Jack Pine Barrens SNA.  Access to the site can be interesting depending on the time of year that you go.  I have travelled to the site 4 times over the years and twice was able to drive into the SNA itself (April & August) and twice was foiled by the high waters of the Wisconsin River (June & July).  There are gravel parking areas on both sides of the river channel, and even if the water is high you may be able to walk across depending on your tolerance for getting wet (waders?) and your confidence in walking through water.

On the site is a range of natural communities including the eponymous prairie and savanna as well as streams and sand terraces.  Rare species found here include the tall or whip nut-rush (Scleria triglomerata) and prairie Indian plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum).  This site is rather large (1885 acres) and certainly warrants multiple visits.

More of my photographs from Avoca Paririe & Savanna can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 68
County Iowa
Parking Gravel parking area
Trails Yes, access roads
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot (may need boat to reach)
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
Dates Visited 6.20.09 / 4.25.10 / 7.24.11 / 8.9.14
Iowa
Iowa County
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