Woodland Dunes featuers a series of forested ridges and swales that represent former shorelines of Lake Michigan. The site is owned by the Woodland Dunes Nature Center which has a headquarters/nature center building just north of the natural area on STH 310/Hawthorne Avenue. Trails lead from the nature center north, but none head south into the natural area. From the nature center, walk south on Columbus Avenue to the Ice Age Trail access described below. Alternative access routes include parking at the dead-end on East Goodwin Road or hiking in on the Ice Age Trail from either the intersection of 12th Street and Columbus Avenue on the east side or Lake View Avenue just west of Taylor Sreet from the south.
I approached the natural area from the end of Goodwin Road where ample parking can be had. A gate leads to a large mown trail which in turn connects with the remainder of the trail network. Leisurely walking through the forest was a tranquil endeavor with just moderate changes in elevation up and over the old dunes. A few spring ephemerals were hanging on including nodding trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit. This is a site that I think would be nice to visit slightly earlier in the spring or once autumn rolls around as well. A trip to the nature center may be worth it too, something I didn’t partake in on this trip.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Woodland Dunes can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Dune, Ridge, Swale, Northern Mesic Forest|
|Parking||Dead-End, Parking Area, On-Street|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||Woodland Dunes Nature Center (PDF); More info: Wisconsin DNR|