Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands & Dundee Kame, SNA #256 (92/674)

Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands & Dundee Kame features a variety of wetland communities and several glacial kames surrounding a stretch of the Milwaukee River in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  It is one of 11 SNA’s found with this forest unit.  There are several ways to access this SNA and I would definitely recommend not following the DNR’s directions in this case.  Another interesting note about this site is that Dundee Kame is not located within its boundaries.  Also known as Dundee Mountain, the kame is located north of the SNA, across CTH F and has its own popular hiking trail.  Fun fact:  Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands & Dundee Kame is by far the longest name for an SNA.

For my first visit years ago, I did follow the directions and it was quite a long hike to make it to the edge of the natural area, from which one could not see much of the site without crossing the river.  Instead, I would recommend two access points.  First, for the easiest kame access, start from a bike trail parking area on CTH F, just east of Dundee.  You walk through a wetland to the base of White Kame, which rises a few hundred feet above the surrounding area.  For the easiest access to the wetlands and river, start from a parking area off of CTH G near the western boundary of the SNA.  This parking area is labeled as a picnic area on some maps, which it most assuredly is not, though it is again, right on the bike trail.

As mentioned, the hike from the southern access as described by the DNR, is long (1+ mile) and low-reward.  Approaching from the north, White Kame had a couple small prairie openings that may prove more interesting later in the year than my early May visit during a late spring year.  Along the west side, the wet forests were quite nice with the abundant bright greens of skunk cabbage and vibrant yellows of the marsh marigold.  This is certainly a site that one could spend all day poking around in and perhaps the best way to explore it is via kayak, though there is not a terribly easy place to put one in.  Someday, perhaps.

More of my photos (and full-res) from Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands & Dundee Kame can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 256
County Fond du Lac
Natural Communities / Geology
Southern Hardwood Swamp, Northern Wet-Mesic Forest, Northern Wet Forest, Southern Sedge Meadow, Shrub-Carr, Kame, River, Stream
Size (Acres) 510
Parking Parking Areas (gravel)
Trails No
Easy to Find No
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 County
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