Holland Sand Prairie (98/674)

Holland Sand Prairie features, of course, a sand prairie that was once part of a massive sand terrace above the Mississippi River.  Now, Holland Sand Prairie is the only sizable remnant.  The site can be accessed from CTH Mh (McHugh Road).  A parking area and information kiosk are present.  Informal trails lead throughout the site.

This is truly a great site and much work by various conservation groups has gone into preserving this gem.  The site is owned by the nearby Town of Holland, but a conversation easement is held by the Mississippi Valley Conservancy and The Prairie Enthusiasts also manage the site.  The terrain is gently rolling and the ground very sandy, of course.  There are dunes scattered around the site, though all are vegetated as compared to sites like Blue River Sand Barrens and Arena Pines & Barrens which contain active dunes and far fewer species.  On my visit, the puccoons were abundant, as was bird’s-foot violet, wild lupine, and prairie ragwort, a Special Concern species in Wisconsin (one step below threatened).  With this being a stop on the way home on a 4-hour drive and with one more site to see, I could not stay as long as I would have liked.  Ergo, I definitely am planning a return visit.

More of my photos (and full-res) from Holland Sand Prairie can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 553
County La Crosse
Natural Communities / Geology
Dry Prairie, Sand Prairie, Prairie
Size (Acres) 61
Parking Parking Area (gravel)
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Town of Holland; More info: Wisconsin DNR
Located Within n/a
Dates Visited 5.16.10

La Crosse
La Crosse County
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