Bauer Brockway Barrens features dry prairie and barrens natural communities in a rectangular parcel of land in the Jackson County Forest in the central portion of the county. North Brockway Road runs along the site’s eastern border and West Bauer Road bisects the site from west to east. Parking ares are found near the northeastern corner of the natural area on the east side of North Brockway Road and on the south side of West Bauer Road. Alternatively, the roads are sufficiently wide and less traveled that parking anywhere along them should be fine. No trails cross this landscape but DNR access roads do cross through the area in several places.
Barrens generally make for easily explorable SNA’s, particularly if they are being actively managed. I have spent the bulk of my visits exploring the more open northeast corner and the area just south of the West Bauer Road. The northwest corner and a parcel in the south-central portion appear similarly open via satellite imagery and thus worthy of future visits. My guess would be that this site is being managed, though in a piecemeal fashion. This is a great location for wild lupine in the spring and has the potential to host the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, though I have not observed one here (this is likely due to the timing of my visits). Other forbs noted include prairie blue-eyed grass, puccoons, and bird’s-foot violet. This is also a great site for other butterflies and insects due to the sandy soil and abundance of flowering species. My personal first sighting of a vesper sparrow occurred in a jack pine on this site as well. Bauer Brockway Barrens is firmly entrenched in my top 10 SNA sites visited.
More of my photos (and full-res) from Bauer-Brockway Barrens can be viewed here.
400 more blog posts to go! Well, actually a few more than that remain; counting SNA’s delisted since I started and a few SNA’s to be designated, the current total is 687, though hopefully, that will increase!
If you would like to help support this project, please consider a donation. There are many SNA’s yet to visit and even more to revisit and I ultimately plan to write a book about my adventures. Thank you!
|Natural Communities / Geology||Barrens, Dry Prairie|
|Parking||Parking Areas (gravel)|
|Trails||No; Access Lane|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Located Within||Jackson County Forest|
|Dates Visited||6.7.13 / 6.6.15|