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…

Eagle Eye (282/681)

Eagle Eye, so named for a slit in the rocky ridge, features a mosaic of natural communities including dry prairie remnants, oak woodland, oak savnna, and a trout stream, all occurring on a narrow, curving ridge that rises 250 feet above the surrounding landscape in eastern Vernon county, northwest of Viroqua.  The site is located…

Lawrence Prairie (281/681)

Lawrence Prairie comprises a dry-prairie primarily preserved for its population of a rare animal.  Access is restricted and as such, the location will not be described here. I was fortunate to be able to visit this site as part of DNR volunteer work days.  While there, our focus was on removing trash, accumulated in the…

Ripon Prairie (265/679)

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…

Buena Vista Quarry Prairie (262/679)

Buena Vista Quarry Prairie provides habitat for the the state-threatened Greater prairie chicken (Tympanachus cupido).  Parking areas in the form of a gravel cul-de-sacs can be found at the end of 130th Street, 2/5 mile south of CTH W and 120th Street 2/5 mile east of CTH F. Truth be told, I did not find this…

Magnolia Bluff (243/679)

Magnolia Bluff includes southern dry-mesic forest and a small dry prairie on a rocky ridge overlooking eastern Rock County.  Found within the eponymous county park, Magnolia Bluff can be reached on Croak Road, south of STH 59.  Lower and upper parking areas provide access to the site.  Trails lead from the parking areas and loop…

Trempealeau Mountain, SNA #356 (232/679)

Trempealeau Mountain is a 425-foot tall forested rock in the Mississippi River, just offshore from Perrot State Park.  The formal method of reaching the site, one of only three islands composed of solid rock along the Mississippi River, is to kayak or canoe from the state park boat launch.  Canoes and kayaks are available for…

Berg Prairie & Billy Goat Ridge, SNA #596 (230/679)

Berg Prairie & Billy Goat Ridge features dry prairie and dry-mesic forest in two disjunct parcels within the Coulee Experimental Forest.  Berg Prairie is the largest dry prairie remnant left in Wisconsin and is found on CTH II just south of Anthony Road.  There are a couple of DNR parking areas in the general vicinity,…

La Crosse River Trail Prairies, SNA #184 (229/679)

La Crosse River Trail Prairies includes 2 segments of dry-mesic and dry pairie along the La River State Trail straddling the La Crosse-Monroe county line.  The trail can be accessed at numerous points including from Bangor to the west, Sparta to the east, or Rockland in the center.  I parked on E May Street in…

Tunnelville Cliffs, SNA #542 (216/675)

Tunnelville Cliffs features a series of sandstone cliffs above the East Fork of the Kickapoo River southwest of La Farge.  Access is via Tunnelville Road where the road bends sharply north.  Park on the roadside near, but not blocking, the DNR access gate.  Walk west into the site. From the road, the access lane passes…

Sugar Creek Bluff, SNA #338 (215/675)

Sugar Creek bluff features a dry prairie and southern dry-mesic forest overlooking the Mississippi River in Crawford County.  Access is via Lagoon Street.  Park beyond a gravel driveway and walk ~100 feet to the trailhead going north.  A series of long switchbacks eventually leads you to the top and the dry prairie and scenic overlook….

Rush Creek, SNA #170 (214/675)

Rush Creek features a series of dry prairies on southwest-facing bluffs along a 2 mile stretch overlooking the Mississippi River.  The namesake creek meanders through a portion of the site and a floodplain forest surrounds it.  There are numerous points of access for the 9 separate parcels of land.  The DNR-recommended access points are a…