Rock River Prairie, SNA #289 (146/675)

Rock River Prairie features a dry prairie overlooking the Rock River approximately halfway between Janesville and Beloit.  A parking area can be found on South Walters Road.

This site is a very pretty one topographically with the low undulations of the land continuing off in the distance seemingly ad infinitum.  Puncuated by dots of color from common spiderwort and prairie thistle, it was a nice scene to observe.  Woody species encroachment was beginning to be a problem, particuarly in the lower areas with sumac, though there have been restoration efforts in recent years.  Other forbs noted on this day included flowering spurge, false sunflower, and the state endangered hairy wild petunia.  For me, this site is worth revisiting for sure.  I would like to, for one thing, explore the slopes along the river in greater detail.  I plan to do so at different times of the year to hopefully catch the prairie putting on a slightly different show each time.


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

Additional Information

SNA # 289
County Rock
Natural Communities / Geology Dry Prairie
Size (Acres) 41
Parking Parking Area (gravel)
Trails No
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within n/a
Dates Visited 6.13.10

Rock County

5 Comments Add yours

  1. zkastern says:

    I noticed a fair number of pasque flowers when I visited last spring. I’ll bet they are just getting started now.


    1. joshuamayer says:

      Neat! May need to head down there this weekend.


      1. zkastern says:

        I only explored the southern area . I had a short time to visit so I worked from parking area to the river and then in a northerly direction. There was also a honey locust tree with giant thorns in that area. Only place I’ve ever seen one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. joshuamayer says:

        I was there this past weekend and unfortunately for me, the site had recently been burned. Did find one patch of several pasqueflowers and one lonesome pasqueflower on another slope, but that was all. At least the prairie will be nice to see as the seasons progress.


  2. Schwister says:

    I can’t believe how many of these SNAs I’ve driven by a million times and didn’t realize they were public lands. This is a wonderful project.


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