Avon Bottoms contains a lowland hardwood forest amidst a tangle of sloughs and oxbows in southwestern Rock County. It is a small portion of the 3500+ acre Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area, which also contains Swenson Wet Prairie SNA. The easiest access is via one of two parking areas on Nelson Road, one on either side of the bridge. The size of the area one can reach on foot depends on water level and one’s comfort level with getting wet. An alternative is to launch a kayak from the more southern parking lot and use it to reach the inaccessible-on-foot portions.
I have been to Avon Bottoms four times over the years, mostly sticking to the area nearest Nelson Road. Having recently aquired a kayak, however, one of my plans is to take it on the Sugar River and venture deeper into the SNA. I always enjoy the surreal feeling of these lowland forests with their majestic tree canopies and great, old trees. In addition, this site is a phenomenal birding hotspot with a number of warblers and shorebirds, in particular found here. One of my first visits here was as part of a birdathon in which we observed 100 species in the area. It is reassuring to know that Avon Bottoms SNA and the encompassing State Wildlife Area are protected through these designation and additional lands in the area through the commitments of county and local governments.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Avon Bottoms can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology
||Lowland Hardwood Forest, Oxbow, Slough|
|Parking||Parking areas (gravel)|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot/Boat|
|Located Within||Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area|
|Dates Visited||8.9.09 / 6.13.10 / 5.10.13 / 4.26.15|