Adiantum Woods, SNA #245 (209/675)

Adiantum Woods features a gradient of forest types from mesic to dry on a slope overlooking the Wisconsin River across from Wauzeka.  An access road leads north from CTH C to a parking area.  Walk 1 mile north and then west on an old two-track logging road through a field to the southern boundary of…

Woodman Lake Sand Prairie & Dead Lake, SNA #251 (208/675)

Woodman Lake Sand Prairie & Dead Lake features a sand prairie and barrens complex and the very shallow Deep Lake, all part of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway.  Access is via Woodman Lake Road north of STH 133 and the town of Woodman.  A parking area is located on th east side of Woodman Lake…

Wauzeka Bottoms, SNA #221 (205/675)

Wauzeka Bottoms encompasses a massive floodplain forest near the confluence of the Kickapoo and Wisconsin Rivers.  Parsed with numerous sloughs, channels, and oxbows, the site is best observed via canoe or kayak.  A boat launch with parking is available on East Front Street in downtown Wauzeka.  Paddle southeast under the railroad trestle to reach the…

Richwood Bottoms, SNA #249 (79/674)

Richwood Bottoms contains an excellent floodplain forest along the Wisconsin River.  An access lane heads south from STH 60 and dead-ends at a gate near a bridge that the DNR uses to reach the area.  From here, walk across the bridge and then southeast approximately 1/2 mile to the northern edge of the site.  I…

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…

Arena Pines & Sand Barrens (17/674)

Tall pines and sand blows compose the landscape at Arena Pines & Sand Barrens.  It is a similar natural community to that present at Gotham Jack Pine Barrens just a few miles away.  Here, however, the site does not have Wisconsin River frontage and its associated sand terraces.  It is a rectangular parcel of land…

Avoca Prairie & Savanna, SNA #68 (14/674)

The largest natural tallgrass prairie east of the Mississippi River is found at Avoca Prairie & Savanna, just northwest of the town of Avoca and directly across the river from Gotham Jack Pine Barrens SNA.  Access to the site can be interesting depending on the time of year that you go.  I have travelled to…

Orion Mussel Bed, SNA #298 (13/674)

A diversity of rare mussels and insects inhabit this 4.2 mile stretch of the Wisconsin River along its northern shore.  These include the state-threatened rock pocketbook (Arcidens confragosus), monkeyface (Quadrula metanevra), and wartyback (Q. nodulata), and the federally endangered Higgins’ eye (Lampsilis higginsii). Rare invertebrates include the smoky shadowfly (Neurocordulia molesta), elusive clubtail (Stylurus notatus),…

Ferry Bluff, SNA #217 (10/674)

Ferry Bluff, along with its sister bluff Cactus, rise more than 300 feet above the Wisconsin River at its confluence with Honey Creek and provide stunning vistas. The gravel road to reach the site is rather narrow but there is ample parking. From there a trail follows the river before beginning a climb to the…

Bakken’s Pond, SNA #247 (15/674)

Finding Bakken’s Pond State Natural Area is easy and not so easy at the same time. The open body of water known as Bakken’s Pond as labelled in Google Maps is not within the boundaries of Bakken’s Pond SNA. My interpretation is that Bakken’s Pond is a larger area including the open water of the…