Nipissing Swamp is a remnant from the time of the glaciers when a sandbar blocked the outlet of Glacial Lake Nipissing and turned the area into a lagoon. Today, a northern hardwood swamp and sand dunes persist. Found within the boundaries of Point Beach State Forest, the area can be accessed from the northeast by walking from parking areas near the visitor’s center or the horse trails on the west side of the highway.
Interestingly, Nipissing Swamp replaced a similar State Natural Area on the east side of the highway known as Wilderness Ridge. This SNA resembled an upside-down ‘T’ that crossed the ridges and swales from the lake west toward the highway. The DNR thought that Nipissing Swamp better exemplified the natural communities they wished to preserve and so, a switch was made. At the time that I was originally exploring SNA’s in this area, Nipissing Swamp had not yet been designated as a State Natural Area and so this visit occurred on a trip back from Door County.
I recall walking along the horse trails heading south before cutting west across the dunes and entering a hardwood forest that became progressively wetter the further west I progressed. This is certainly a site that presented an interesting choice in footwear; rubber boots are better suited for the interior of the site, but sandals are more appropriate for the sandy dune area. I had opted for something in between, but that didn’t allow as much progress into the swamp as I would have preferred. Eh, another reason to go back!
More of my photos (and full-res) from Nipissing Swamp can be viewed here.
Just under 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 689, 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||Northern Hardwood Swamp, Sand Dunes|
|Parking||Parking Area (sandy gravel)|
|Easy to Find||No|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Located Within||Point Beach State Forest|