French Creek Fen, SNA #546 (154/675)

French Creek Fen features three fen areas embedded with a semi-open wetland complex.  A wet prairie, sedge meadow, and springs are also present.  Found within the French Creek Wildlife Area in northern Columbia County, there are several parking areas around the periphery, though the easiest access is probably via the parking area at the end of a long access lane from Monthey Road.

My visit to French Creek Fen can best be described as incomplete.  Again without rubber boots, I was mostly confined to the dike that runs from the parking area between the two parcels of the natural area.  I attempted to go deeper into the parcels in several places, but I literally only went deeper into the water.  There were beautiful views of the wetland with its vibrant green hues below the brilliant blue colors of the sky.  The highlight of this visit was the sighting of a black tern, an endangered species in Wisconsin.  I was able to observe it as it dove and skimmed the surface of the water in search of food, likely insects and small fish.  To this day, it remains one of my favorite bird observations.  A revisit to this site is most definitely in order; it is simply a matter of finding the time…perhaps early autumn as this is typically a beautiful time to visit a fen.

More of my photos (and full-res) from French Creek Fen can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 546
County Columbia
Natural Communities / Geology Fen, Wet Prairie, Sedge Meadow, Creek
Size (Acres) 219
Parking Parking Areas (gravel)
Trails No
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within French Creek Wildlife Area
Dates Visited 6.20.10

Marquette County

One Comment Add yours

  1. R. Clemo says:

    Do you have any idea where the “Fen” areas are located in reference to the dike? I did a little scouting prior to leaf out this spring, but later realized I was only mucking around in the wildlife area to the north, and not the SNA. I’m borderline obsessed with the possibility of experienceing a calcareous fen so any help is appreciated


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