Jackson Marsh (327/693)

Jackson Marsh State Natural Area protects a southern wet forest with silver maples and a white cedar-tamarack swamp. The site is part of the larger Jackson Marsh State Wildlife Area, a 2,600 acre tract of forested wetlands in east-central Washington County. The large size and lack of formal trails make this not a particularly easy natural area to explore, but hunter walking and deer trails offer some degree of internal access.

Very generally speaking, SNAs embedded within State Wildlife Areas (SWAs) seem to be the least accessible and the most difficult to identify within the larger SWA context. Below is a map of the Jackson Marsh SWA and within it are denoted the 3 SNA parcels.

Screenshot from SWA map (full map .pdf here)

As noted, there are no formal trails here. There are scattered hunter-walking and deer trails from the varous parking areas, but in my case, I meandered into the westernmost parcel over a veritable sea of cool season grass. I chose to explore this particular parcel based on its apparent “marshiness” on the topo map:

Screenshot of topo map. Note the “wetland” symbols dominating the western parcel.

What I observed was a landscape that devoid of surface water or true “marsh”-like characteristics as one might expect based on its name. The description of the SNA, however, notes that this SNA primarily protects a silver maple lowland forest and a tamarack swamp. I had clearly found the former on this visit. Unfortunately, it was September and there was very little to observe that was botanically interesting to me. Additionally, the gray, overcast skies made photography unspectacular at best and mostly difficult. The highlight of the day was nearly running into a European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus), gloriously suspended in the air on its web. If only the light were better….

I would like to revisit this site at a more botanically interesting time of year and in better conditions for photography with a focus on the white cedar-tamarack swamp.

Additional photos can be found on Flickr.

SNA #278
Natural Communities / GeologySouthern Wet Forest, White Cedar-Tamarack Swamp
Size (Acres)590
ParkingParking Areas
Easy to FindYes
Best Seen ByFoot
Recommended FootwearRubber Boots
Marked BoundariesNo
OwnershipWisconsin DNR
Located WithinJackson Marsh State Wildlife Area
Date(s) Visited9.8.13

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Odile Nelson says:

    Your photos are fabulous


    1. joshuamayer says:

      Thank you for the kind comment!


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