Cave Point-Clay Banks features a variety of wetland and forest natural communities spread across 3 named units consisting of 4 total parcels of land. The three units are known as the Sturgeon Bay unit, the Shivering Sands unit, and the Kellner Fen unit. All three are described on the DNR page, but there is no map or access information for Kellner Fen. That unit is owned by the Door County Land Trust. It is not clear as written if permission is required or where exactly it is, but I have obtained permission anyway and plan to visit it soon. The Shivering Sands unit is split into two nearby parcels with a parking area located off of Glidden Drive. The Sturgeon Bay unit makes mention of being on both sides of the canal, yet the map shows the natural area only on the south side of the canal. That said, there are two parking areas on Lake Lane, east of CTH U.
At the time of my visit, access information and a map was only provided for the Shivering Sands unit and so that is where I went. A stem and loop trail leads into the site from the parking area with a boardwalk in the wetter spots, though only a very small portion of the site is viewed form the trail. We were treated to a bevy of great spangled fritillary and monarch butterflies nectaring on thistles as well as a very scenic wet forest in places. More interesting areas in this unit are found off the trail, such as the fen near the lake. That alone warrants a return visit. As mentioned previously, we were on our long journey home and this was the last stop prior to the rest of the drive. Add in a necessity (for me) to explore the other units and this is a guaranteed return on the agenda.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Cave Point-Clay Banks can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Lake, Fen, Northern Wet-Mesic Forest, Lowland Conifer Forest, Sand Dunes|
|Parking||Parking Areas, Roadside|
|Easy to Find||Yes/No|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||Door County Land Trust; The Nature Conservancy; More info: Wisconsin DNR|