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.
|County||Fond du Lac|
|Natural Communities / Geology
||Southern Wet-Mesic Forest, Northern Wet-Mesic Forest, Lake, River, Lowland Hardwood Forest, Conifer Swamp, Bog|
|Parking||Parking Area (paved)|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot/Kayak|
|Located Within||Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit|
|Dates Visited||5.9.10 / 5.9.15|