Pickerel Lake Fen (not to be confused with Pickerel Lake SNA – subject of a future post) features a large alkaline fen around the namesake lake in northern Walworth County. There are two main access points: parking along Pickerel Lake Road and walking east or west into the southern parcel or parking in the small TNC parking area near the end of Pickerel Jay Road and walking south along the access lane to reach the northern parcel. It should be noted that TNC requires permission to visit the southern parcel due to its fragility.
I have visited Pickerel Lake Fen three times and still don’t feel like I have seen the best this site has to offer. Owned by The Nature Conservancy, it seems to be the site of a good amount of restoration work in recent years, though much of it seems to be focused on the upload portion of the northern parcel. Land acquisition also seems to be a point of emphasis as the site’s boundaries have expanded since my original visit. In particular, none of the land west of Pickerel Lake Road was part of the site 5+ years ago, but it is now. On my visits to the southern parcel, where the fen is found, have revealed a variety of forbs including willow-herbs, spotted Joe-pye weed, turtlehead, swamp thistle, and various asters and goldenrods. The northern parcel contains some lake frontage as well as small pockets of prairie and woodland species. A variety of butterflies were seen, particularly during my August and September visits. I did have great looks at a sedge wren, but of course, only had my macro lens on at the time. I would like to return here, particularly to the southern parcel, to explore a little deeper into the fen.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Pickerel Lake Fen can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Alkaline Fen|
|Parking||Roadside, Parking Area|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||The Nature Consevancy; More info: Wisconsin DNR|
|Dates Visited||7.17.10 / 8.22.15 / 9.13.15|