Red Banks Alvar features a rare natural community in Wisconsin known as an alvar. This natural area consists of three parcels near Benderville in Brown County. Two parcels are found on either side of STH 57, just southeast of the town, with a parking area accessible from the northbound lanes. The second parcel is found to the east on Marys Road with a parking area there as well.
After visiting High Cliff Escarpment, the trek to Door County II continued with a stop at Red Banks Alvar. At first, we tried to find the pull-off on STH 57 (where another view of the Niagara Escarpment can be had), but for whatever reason did not see it and just kept on going to the other parcel. The site was relatively flat in some places and gently sloping in others down to Gilson Creek (this parcel is owned by the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and they call it the Gilson Creek Preserve). It had an oak savanna-dry prairie feel to it with very thin, sandy soils. Half of the site was forested while the other was a bit more open. As it was mid-summer, not a tremendous amount was blooming save for some asters, goldenrods, and hawkweeds. Various fungi were present as well. I would like to visit this site again, perhaps at a more flowery time of year and also to explore the eastern parcel.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Red Banks Alvar can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Alvar, Creek, Forest, Niagara Escarpment|
|Parking||Parking Areas (gravel)|
|Easy to Find||Yes/No|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust; More info: Wisconsin DNR|