Milwaukee River & Swamp, SNA #93 (91/674)

Milwaukee River and Swamp features a mixture of wet-mesic forests of the northern and southern varieties as well as a conifer swamp along the shores of the Milwaukee River and Mauthe Lake within the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  It is one of 11 SNA’s within this forest unit.  The Ice Age Trail also passes through the southeastern corner of the site.  To reach this site, continue south on CTH GGG from Haskell Noyes Memorial Woods approximately 1.5 miles to the Mauthe Lake access road.  Here, you will find a very large parking area and boat launch for the lake along with picnic areas, beach, and a trailhead.  The Tamarack Circle trail leads around the lake and through a portion of the natural area.  A kayak or canoe would get you further into the site along the river, but I did not yet own one at the time of my visits.

I have been to Milwaukee River and Swamp twice, both times during field trips, which did not afford much individual exploration.  The trail encircles the lake and both times I headed west across the river and into the lowland hardwood forest area.  My trips here would birding in nature, and this is a great site to do just that.  Warblers abound during the migration season along with a wide variety of songbirds and shorebirds.  Being early to mid-May, few flowering species were noted, but included violets, skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, and wood anemone.  This area is on my return visit list and I would like to do so not as part of a trip.  In particular I want to explore the further south along the river, the areas west and north of the lake, and the small bog lake.

More of my photos (and full-res) from Milwaukee River & Swamp can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 93
County Fond du Lac
Natural Communities / Geology
 Southern Wet-Mesic Forest, Northern Wet-Mesic Forest, Lake, River, Lowland Hardwood Forest, Conifer Swamp, Bog
Size (Acres) 827
Parking Parking Area (paved)
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot/Kayak
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit
Dates Visited 5.9.10 / 5.9.15

 

Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac Conty
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