Oakfield Railroad Prairie, SNA #328 (185/675)

Oakfield Railroad Prairie features mesic and wet-mesic prairies along two portions of the Wild Goose State Trail, a 34-mile long trail with one terminus in Fond du Lac and the other in Clyman Junction.  Park on the road near one of several trail intersections: CTH D, Lost Arrow Road, River Road, or Willow Lawn Road.

As with many natural areas found along state trails, narrow bands of prarie were preserved due to fires sparked by passing trains and kept from agricultural usage by being within the railroad right-of-way.  Most places I have an exact memory of how I accessed the natural area and where.  This one, I am not completely certain, perhaps just fairly.  I know I explored the northern of the two parcels that abuts USH 151, but I don’t recall if I eamined the southern parcel; I think I did but am not sure.  In any case, I found this site to be rather unremarkable and rife with invasive and other undesirable species.  Nothing of great rarity was observed.  Instead, I saw St. John’s wort, chicory, butter-and-eggs, and dame’s rocket.  False sunflowers and goldenrods were the most interesting sightings.  Perhaps things are a bit more exciting at a different time of year.  Such as it was, my visit here was cut short by a tornado siren, which sent me back to the car and headed south.

More of my photos (and full-res) from Oakfield Railroad Prairie can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 328
County Fond du Lac
Natural Communities / Geology Mesic Prairie, Wet-Mesic Prairie
Size (Acres) 41
Parking Roadside
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Wild Goose State Trail
Dates Visited  8.21.10

Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac County

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