Ripon Prairie (265/679)

Ripon Prairie formerly featured dry prairie remnants on a small, triangular parcel in northwestern Fond du Lac County.  Owned by Ripon College, the parcel was neglected over the years and woody species encroached and effectively cancelled out the prairie.  Ripon Prairie’s status as a State Natural Area was mutually dissolved by a memorandum of understanding between the College and the DNR.  The site is located just south of Locust Road, northeast of the city of Ripon.  Park on the roadside and walk south along the tree line to the hill.

Ripon Prairie was the second SNA which I visited and was subsequently delisted.  The previously visited site was Wilderness Ridge and the third site, Buckley Barrens and Springs, will be written about sometime in 2017.  It is sad that the prairie at this site has been lost.  Yes, it was small and yes, it could still be saved in theory, but there is next to no chance of that happening.  Be it for lack of money, resources, or manpower, only the College can say.  On my visit, the woody encroachment was almost complete and no flowering prairie species were noted.  Ripon Prairie was delisted in 2012 and replaced by Muehl Springs in Sheboygan County.  A visit there would come 1 1/2 years later.

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

Additional Information

SNA # X-35
County Fond du Lac
Natural Communities / Geology Dry Prairie
Size (Acres) 1.15
Parking Roadside
Trails No
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Ripon College
Located Within


Dates Visited 7.8.12

Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac County

3 Comments Add yours

  1. paulmozina says:

    Thanks for your detailed study of the State Natural Areas of Wisconsin! Regarding the reasons why an SNA may be unfunded and ultimately delisted, I offered this analysis upon receipt of the Invader Crusader Award presented by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council:

    Joshua, let me know when you plan to visit the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA.


    1. joshuamayer says:

      Thanks for the comment, Paul, and thank you for your interesting blog and of course all of the hard work you do at Ottawa, Scuppernong, etc. I have been to Ottawa a couple of times, most recently in July. I want to visit again and was hoping to this fall.


  2. paulmozina says:

    Ok, let me know if you want some company on your next visit to the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA. I will be camping there at site 335 the last week in October.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s