Toft Point contains a wide range of natural communities on a peninsula between Moonlight Bay and Baileys Harbor. To reach the site, take the access lane off of Ridges Road, about 1.5 miles east of the intersection of STH 57 and Ridges Road. A parking area and trailhead can be found there. Alternatively, continue on Ridges Road until it dead-ends, though I haven’t tried this approach.
Toft Point, in addtion to its diverse component natural communities is also a National Natural Landmark and was once an old homestead site. Remants of that time gone by still remain including an old kiln. From the parking area, a wide trail leads through the forest until the canopy gives way and you arrive at the old homestead. From here, I wandered about the shoreline which appropriately enough considering its location, bears great resemblance to those at Moonlight Bay and Baileys Harbor, though the plant life was much reduced during my visit. The highlight was finding Striped Coralroot at the second location for the day. I stuck mainly to the trails at the site, but do intend a return visit to explore in greater depth. One could easily spend all day at Toft Point exploring the range of natural communities from forest to swamp and seemingly everything in between.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Toft Point can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Boreal Forest, Cliff, Northern Mesic Forest, Calcareous Sedge Meadow, Shrub-Carr, Wet-Mesic Forest, Tamarack Swamp, Alder Thicket, Homestead Relict|
|Parking||Parking Lot (gravel)|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||UW Board of Regents; The Nature Conservancy; More info: Wisconsin DNR|