Chase Creek features a rare algific talus slope natural community in Grant County. Parking is on the side of Dugway Road, followed by a squirrelly climb up the side of the bluff.
At the time I visited Chase Creek, it had not yet reached the DNR’s website and I was essentially going in blind. The site, owned by the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, is also called Devil’s Backbone. There is a trail that follows the top of the ridge and a short stem and loop trail that heads toward the creek, but much of the site is not covered by these trails. The main attraction for me at the time at Chase Creek was the presence of jeweled shooting stars, a Special Concern species in Wisconsin. Now that the natural area is on the DNR’s website, one can read of the rare algific talus slope natural community. A combination of the geology and geography has resulted in a perpetually cool site which harbors various rare species. Knowing what I know now, I would like to return to explore these slopes in greater detail as well as follow the creek further inland. Not that I needed another reason to return to the Driftless Area…
More of my photos (and full-res) from Chase Creek can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Algific Talus Slope, Creek|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||Mississippi Valley Conservancy; More info: Wisconsin DNR|