Spring Green Preserve, SNA #102 (16/674)

Known as the “Wisconsin desert”, plants you might not think exist in the state actually thrive in the arid, shifting sands of Spring Green Preserve.  The site is easy to find amidst a row of houses just north of US14 in Spring Green.  A gravel parking area provides ample room for 10 or so vehicles at this popular location  From the parking area a sandy trail leads to an information kiosk and from there the trail heads off into the desert and up the sloping side of the bluff.  On my first visit, the trail actually made a loop up, then down the bluff, but in recent years The Nature Conservancy (who own the site) have requested that people not hike down the side of the bluff to protect the fragile plants and the bluff itself.  Rare forbs found here include prairie fame flower (Callirhoe triangulata) and clustered poppy mallow (Phemeranthus rugospermus).  Spring Green Preserve is an amazing spot for grassland birding as well.  Grasshopper, Lark, Lincoln’s, and Vesper sparrows and dickcissels can all be found here.  A fantastic array of insects are also found here including several wolf spider species and 8 species of tiger beetles.  There are only a handful of places like this in Wisconsin and I highly recommend a visit to “Wisconsin’s Desert”.

More of my photos from Spring Green Preserve can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 102
County Sauk
Parking Parking Area (gravel)
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership  The Nature Conservancy (More info: Wisconsin DNR)
Located Within na
Dates Visited 6.20.09 / 4.24.10 / 5.4.14 / 8.24.14 / 7.12.15

Sauk
Sauk County
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