Kettle Moraine Red Oaks features a southern dry-mesic forest with a significant red oak component on rolling topography in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest (KMSFN). This natural area is one of 11 found in the KMSFN and one of 18 total in the KMSF. I reached the site by parking on the side of CTH A which borders the western edge of the site. Several other access options are available including the Ice Age Trail which travels within the eastern side of the SNA and intersects with CTH A just a few hundred feet south and with Old Plank Trail just to the north.
The undulating ebbs and flows of the Kettle Moraine State Forest are often idyllic as is the case at this site. I wandered up and down the slopes and simply enjoyed the forest. The groundlayer was a bit sparse, but downy phlox, hoary puccoon, and wild columbine were observed. Ferns were abundant and lent the area a bit of a Jurassic Park-feel. The terrain was a bit slippery due to the previous night’s rainfall, but the rain also provided a glossy finish to the plant life. I wouldn’t mind a return visit here, perhaps by hiking along the Ice Age Trail and exploring the eastern side a bit more, but this area would be a bit down on the priority list.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Kettle Moraine Red Oaks can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Southern Dry-Mesic Forest|
|Easy to Find||No|
|Best Seen By||Foot|