Sugar River Wetlands, SNA #299 (25/674)

Wetlands including sedge meadow, fen, and wet prairie can be found at Sugar River Wetlands, certainly one of the more ‘urban’ SNA’s in terms of its proximity to a major population center in the state.  Truth be told, it is a rather unusual location and a testament to the foresight of those who sought to protect it and those who work to preserve it.  The site is bisected by both Hwy 18/151 and the Military Ridge State Trail and is located a stone’s throw from the campus of Epic , the medical records software company.  There are a few ways to access the site.  One is from a parking area for the Military Ridge State Trail off of Country View Rd.  From there, walking due south takes you through a degraded prairie, beneath Hwy 18/151 and right to the Sugar River.  From there, you can walk ESE to get to the bulk of the SNA.  Alternatively, you can walk SE down the trail from the parking area, underneath the highway and enter from there.  Lastly, there is a newer parking area on the south boundary on Valley Rd.  I believe this portion of land was only recently added to the SNA.  As such from the parking area, you will have to cross an old field before you reach anything resembling a wetland.  I have seen this one in bits and pieces, first attempting to access it from the north sans boots which didn’t last that long and last year taking the trail to the SE before being driven away by a torrential rainstorm.  So this is another site for the revisit list.  I would like to reach the true fen portion in particular and do some further exploration.

More of my photos from Sugar River Wetlands can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 299
County Dane
Parking Parking Areas
Trails No
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within na
Dates Visited 7.4.09 / 7.5.09 / 4.10.10 / 7.18.15
Dane County

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