Smith-Reiner Drumlin Prairie (283/681)

Smith-Reiner Drumlin Prairie features two drumlins that contain dry prairie remnants in eastern Dane County.  Located just south of CTH PQ (also known as Prairie Queen Road) and east of STH 73 on Clearview Road, there is a small gravel parking area on the west side of the road.  From that point, an access lane…

Hook Lake Bog, SNA #242 (74/674)

Hook Lake Bog is a high quality bog in Dane County featuring a soft water bog lake, rare for this part of the state.  Found within Hook Lake Wildlife Area, there are several ways to reach the property, one of which didn’t exist when I visited.  The first suggestion from the DNR is to park…

Waubesa Wetlands, SNA #114 (69/674)

Waubesa Wetlands features a sedge meadow, fen, and shrubb-car habitat in an old lobe of Lake Waubesa.  Overland access is available from a small (2-car) parking area on Lalor Road (aka Rustic Road 19).  From there, a access trail along a fenceline leads to the site.  Further south on the same road the site boundaries…

Barneveld Prairie, SNA #405 (48/674)

Barneveld Prairie represents a small piece of the prairie and grasslands that once dominated the southwest portion of Wisconsin.  Now, this SNA consists of five parcels in Iowa and Dane Counties that themselves are part of additional natural areas, or more accurately, project areas, including the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area, which is itself embedded…

Empire Prairies, SNA #146 (38/674)

Empire Prairies consists of three separate remnant drumlin prairies, two of which are open to the public.  The Westport Drumlin and and Hagen units are open to the public and fairly straightforward to reach, the latter being the easiest with a parking area off the road and a short walk to the drumlin.  Westport Drumlin…

Cherokee Marsh, SNA #130 (37/674)

If you say ‘Cherokee Marsh’ to someone in the area, they will most likely know what you are talking about.  There is a reason for that, however.  ‘Cherokee Marsh’ is a name applied to several nearby, adjoining, and/or overlapping properties near the northwest corner of Lake Mendota in Dane County.  Cherokee Marsh SNA is itself,…

Goose Lake Drumlins, SNA #375 (36/674)

Six drumlins and two lakes can be found at Goose Lake Drumlins, found within Goose Lake Wildlife Area.  As is the custom with SNA’s embedded in State Wildlife Areas, there is no demarcation of which portion is SNA and which is not.  Access is fairly straightfoward and can be accomplished from a number of SWA…

Deansville Fen, SNA #311 (35/674)

Deansville Fen contains a variety of natural communities including wet-mesic prairie, sedge meadow, and calcareous fen as part of the larger Deansville Wildlife Area.  As is typical of SNA’s found within State Wildlife Areas (SWA’s), there are no signs marking SNA-land from non-SNA land, and hence a GPS will come in handy (or a topo…

Lodi Marsh, SNA #374 (32/674)

Lodi Marsh contains large wetland complex complete with streams and springs, but it also includes hill prairies and dry-mesic forests.  Rubber boots are recommended for marsh exploration, but hiking boots may also be suggested depending on your access point.  I would recommend accessing this site from the Ice Age Trail, for which there is a…

Mazomanie Bottoms, SNA #142 (30/674)

A large bottomland forest is criss-crossed by old river channels at Mazomanie Bottoms.  The site requires a bit of a hike (or bike ride) from the large parking area.  From there, it is approximately one mile to the SNA’s eastern border.  On summer days, however, this parking lot is typically very full, for there is…

Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie (29/674)

Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie is a well-managed dry-mesic prairie on a low ridge containing over 80 prairie species.  I have always considered this a sister site to Pleasant Valley Conservancy SNA, both due to its proximity and its management by the same group (TPE) and people (the Brocks).  There is a small, 2-car pull-off for…