Belmont Prairie, SNA #364 (166/675)

Belmont Prairie features a dry-mesic prairie remnant along a former railroad bed midway between Belmont and Platteville.  Though the DNR describes it as being along the Pecatonica River State Trail, that is a tad misleading.  First, the state trail is not suitable for road bikes and probably not even hybrids west of Belmont.  The trail…

Ipswich Prairie, SNA #195 (165/675)

Ipswich Prairie encompasses a narrow, 1.2 mile long stretch of mesic prairie straddling the Lafayette-Grant County line along Ipswich Road southeast of Platteville.  Park anywhere along the road.  I don’t recall the width of the shoulder in this area, but the road was not a very busy one. Much of the area in this part…

Hardscrabble Prairie, SNA #322 (164/675)

Hardscrabble Prairie features a dry prairie and oak openings near Hazel Green in southwestern Lafayette County.  Park near the end of the cul-de-sac on Crawford Lane near the sewage treatment plant and walk along the fence on the west side of the plant. Walking along the fence brought me to what seemed to be an…

Midway Railroad Prairie, SNA #18 (99/674)

Midway Railroad Prairie is, as its name implies, a prairie along a former railroad right-of-way.  What makes this site different is that it encompasses substantially more land away from the trail compared to most other former railroad prairies which tend to be thin strips of land.  The Great River State Trail runs along the site’s…

Holland Sand Prairie (98/674)

Holland Sand Prairie features, of course, a sand prairie that was once part of a massive sand terrace above the Mississippi River.  Now, Holland Sand Prairie is the only sizable remnant.  The site can be accessed from CTH Mh (McHugh Road).  A parking area and information kiosk are present.  Informal trails lead throughout the site….

Great River Trail Prairies, SNA #357 (97/674)

Great River Trail Prairies consists of two sand prairie parcels located approximately 7 miles apart in La Crosse and Trempealeau Counties.  The Trempealeau County unit is adjacent to Perot State Park and can be accessed via Prairie Road.  The La Crosse County unit is best reached from a canoe landing parking area at the end…

Lulu Lake, SNA #138 (86/674)

Lulu Lake is an amazing mosaic of natural communities straddling the Walworth-Waukesha County line.  Several parking areas are located around the property including on CTH E, Lulu Lake Road, and Nature Road.  Trails lead throughout the site.  The SNA is owned approximately 2/3 by the DNR and 1/3 by The Nature Conservancy.  Both entities own…

Rocky Run Oak Savanna, SNA #220 (76/674)

Diverse topography is the dominant feature at Rocky Run Oak Savanna.  Undulating terrain is found on a south-facing slope overlooking Rocky Run Creek.  As part of the Rocky Run State Fishery Area, a parking area is located off of Hwy 22, south of Wyocena. A narrow access lane opens up to an old agricultural field…

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…

Rose Lake, SNA #538 (64/674)

Rose Lake is a shallow seepage lake in Jefferson County surrounded by rich wetlands and prairie/savanna in the process of restoration.  Rose Lake SNA overlaps with Dorothy Carnes County Park and vice versa.  The main access point is via Radloff Lane which leads to a large parking lot and picnic area.  A trailhead is also…

Oliver Prairie, SNA #58 (51/674)

Oliver Prairie is a small, dry hillside prairie remnant in Green County.  As the location is not disclosed by the DNR, it will not be disclosed here.  Permission is required for visiting. I have found the site to be rather unremarkable, but this is in part due to the late summer season for both of…

Muralt Bluff Prairie (50/674)

Muralt Bluff Prairie was protected thanks to the foresight of a few Green County residents, was then purchased by Green County, and is now owned by The Prairie Enthusiasts and the DNR (and managed by the former).  It is definitely one of my favorite sites, in part because of the care with which it is…