Mazomanie Bottoms, SNA #142 (30/674)

A large bottomland forest is criss-crossed by old river channels at Mazomanie Bottoms.  The site requires a bit of a hike (or bike ride) from the large parking area.  From there, it is approximately one mile to the SNA’s eastern border.  On summer days, however, this parking lot is typically very full, for there is not only an SNA nearby, there is also the infamous Mazo Beach, where clothing is, shall we say, not encouraged.  On my first visit here, I was surprised at the sheer number of vehicles parked there as well as the dozens of people I saw on my walk to the SNA.  It was only as I neared the end of the trail and saw a bucket full of buttons that read ‘Mazo Beach’.  Eyes planted firmly on the sand, I turned around and made the turn toward an access gate which I deduced was the entry to the SNA.  There is a service road on top of an old dike that serves as a trail into the interior of the site.  It is fairly easy, however, to walk into the bulk of the SNA though rubber boots may be advised depending on water levels.  On my first visit, the highlight was a young raccoon family hiding out in the shrubbery.  My return visit was in very late summer when little was in bloom, but water levels were low and made for easier movement through the low forest.  This is always a natural community that I see beauty in with fallen trees covered in moss and ephemeral pools of water dotted with leaves.  This site likely warrants a revisit in a season more apt for blooming forbs.

More of my photos from Mazomanie Bottoms can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 142
County Dane
Parking Parking Lot
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries Yes
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Lower Wisconsin State Riverway
Dates Visited 7.5.09 / 9.7.14

Dane
Dane County
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