Muskego Park Hardwoods features southern dry-mesic and lowland forests within the confines of Muskego Park, a Waukesha county park. The park is found on CTH L just southwest of Muskego. There is a day use fee of $4 per car payable at the entrance station. There are self-pay stations available if an attendant is not on duty. Three large parking areas are found on the main park road with the SNA comprising the bulk of the park’s land to the east. Trails loop through the site.
Muskego Park Hardwoods is another quintessential southern Wisconsin hardwood forest. The forest is mostly composed of white and red oaks with occasional large sugar maples, bitternut hickory, shagbark hickory, butternut, walnut, white ash, basswood, black cherry, ironwood, Kentucky coffee tree, and blue ash. My first visit was in mid-July on a hot, sweltering day. As I walked the trails, the mosquitoes were horrendous. Though it is on slope, there are numerous areas of standing water, particularly on the trails. Though the sun shone brightly on this day, it remained dark and eerie beneath the canopy. I returned just a couple of weeks ago and found evidence of a rich groundlayer of spring ephemerals. I was just a bit early for blooming of most of them, but cut-leaved toothwort and wild leek were found everywhere. Patches of reflexed trillium, a Wisconsin special concern species, were frequent as well. I also found the bird life to be quite nice, with good looks at brown creepers, black-capped chickadees, yellow-rumped warblers, white-breasted nuthatches, and a barred owl and cooper’s hawk that were chasing each other. It is likely to be a very nice site to visit in the coming weeks as ephemerals put on their showy displays and bird migration ramps up. We’ll see if time allows…
More of my photos (and full-res) from Muskego Park Hardwoods can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Southern Dry-Mesic Forest, Lowland Hardwood Forest|
|Parking||Parking Area (paved)|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||Waukesha County; More info: Wisconsin DNR|
|Located Within||Muskego Park|
|Dates Visited||7.17.10 / 4.9.16|