Deansville Fen, SNA #311 (35/674)

Deansville Fen contains a variety of natural communities including wet-mesic prairie, sedge meadow, and calcareous fen as part of the larger Deansville Wildlife Area.  As is typical of SNA’s found within State Wildlife Areas (SWA’s), there are no signs marking SNA-land from non-SNA land, and hence a GPS will come in handy (or a topo map).My first two trips here began from the DNR-recommended parking area north of the SNA and involved crossing a couple of streams.  On the first visit, I was confronted with 10-foot tall cattails and very wet conditions sans boots and on my return visit, I found that much of the site had been subject to a prescribed burn and there was virtually nothing to see.  Recently, I returned with an attempt to find the fen from the southwest corner via a parcel of land in the Voluntary Public Access (VPA) program.  This involved walking through stinging nettles taller than me and wading through a waist-deep drainage ditch.  Sadly, there was little to see from this approach.  Very tall cattails were found once again as well as a, as yet unidentified rush or sedge that was again, way taller than me.  It was an arduous slog as I explored the area looking for the fen.  Taking a rush to the face, just below the eye, put an earlier than planned end to this adventure.  At present, this is one of my nemesis SNA’s – one that I haven’t yet explored to the degree that I would like.  Put it back on the docket for next year.

More of my photos from Deansville Fen can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 311
County Dane
Parking Parking areas or roadside
Trails No
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Deansville Wildlife Area
Dates Visited 7.11.09 / 4.17.10 / 9.20.15

Dane County

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