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.
|County||Fond du Lac|
|Natural Communities / Geology||Dry Prairie|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|