Hook Lake Bog is a high quality bog in Dane County featuring a soft water bog lake, rare for this part of the state. Found within Hook Lake Wildlife Area, there are several ways to reach the property, one of which didn’t exist when I visited. The first suggestion from the DNR is to park in the parking area on McManus Road just north of Rutland Dunn Town Line Road and then walk a mile to the southern edge of the site. This is despite the fact that McManus Road continues to the site. Beyond the parking area, the road is considered private and the only vehicles allowed are for the law firm at its terminus. This would not be my recommended access. After trying this, I proceeded to an access lane northeast of the site leading south from Hawkinson Road. This route is roughly 0.8 miles to the edge of the lake, but at least is more scenic than the other route. Lastly, a newer route is possible from the west on Sand Hill Road. From there, it is about 1/3 of a mile to the water’s edge. The DNR suggests this as a walk-in boat access but describes it as challenging. I plan to try out this route sometime in the summer of 2016.
A diverse array of natural communities is found at Hook Lake Bog. In addition to the bog and lake, a tamarack swamp, restored prairie and oak savanna, and southern dry-mesic forest are present. Sans a boat and sans the newer access route, I was limited to shoreline exploration around the northeast portion of the lake on a decidedly cloudy and dreary day in early April. I am thinking of June for my next visit to hopefully catch some blooming species at or near their peaks.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Hook Lake Bog can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology
||Lake, Bog, Tamarack Swamp, Prairie, Oak Savanna, Southern Dry-Mesic Forest|
|Parking||Parking area, roadside|
|Easy to Find||No|
|Best Seen By||Foot/Kayak|
|Located Within||Hook Lake Wildlife Area|