Bear Creek Cave (310/687)

Bear Creek Cave is exactly what its name describes, a cave.  It is closed to the public and its location is not disclosed due to the sensitive nature of the site and past vandalism issues. This ninth-largest cave in the state is home to several bat species and a number of cave-preferring and endemic invertebrate…

Pine Island Savanna (244/679)

Pine Island Savanna encompasses one the largest floodplain savanna in the state. Located along the Wisconsin River and spanning the Columbia-Sauk Counties border, portions of the site are accessible from land, while the highest quality savanna is located on an island.  A boat launch and parking area are both found along Levee Road between CTH…

South Bluff/Devil’s Nose, SNA #97 (59/674)

South Bluff/Devil’s Nose is located on a large expanse of the Baraboo Hills and comprises the bulk of the southern portion of Devil’s Lake State Park.  There are a couple of areas to park: either the main south shore parking areas or a gravel cul-de-sac at the end of Burma Road in the southwest corner…

Devil’s Lake Oak Forest, SNA #27 (58/674)

Devil’s Lake Oak Forest is an 88-acre southern dry-mesic forest in Devil’s Lake State Park wedged between East Bluff SNA on its north side and South Bluff/Devil’s Nose SNA on its south side.  Parking is available at the south shore day use/beach area.  From there, take the Ice Age trail to the Grottos trail which…

East Bluff, SNA #98 (57/674)

East Bluff is one of four SNA’s found within Devil’s Lake State Park, the largest and third oldest state park in Wisconsin.  Though it is one of the most popular parks, few people probably realize they are hiking through SNA’s.  The irony for me is that when looking for another state park to take photos…

Hulburt Creek Woods, SNA #371 (47/674)

Hulburt Creek Woods is comprised of 3 separate, though nearby, parcels within the Hulburt Creek Fishery Area in Sauk County.  The creek is a picturesque trout stream winding through northern and southern dry-mesic forests and areas with sandstone cliffs and alder thickets.  I have visited the easatern and western parcels so far.  The western parcel…

Dells of the Wisconsin River, SNA #283 (46/674)

Dells of the Wisconsin River is a wonderful site, with beautiful views and a diversity of protected natural communities.  It is the only SNA that can be found in 4 different counties.  The protected land is comprised of cliffs overlooking the Wisconsin River, which in this portion of the state, forms the boundaries between several…

Mirror Lake Pine-Oak Forest, SNA #406 (40/674)

Mirror Lake Pine-Oak Forest is exactly what it sounds like: a nice forest consisting of pine (mostly white) and oak (a mixture of red, black, and white) on an undulating terrain on the shores of Mirror Lake.  Access is available from a couple of boat landings or by actual boat from the main portion of…

Fern Dell Gorge, SNA #407 (39/674)

Fern Dell Gorge is aptly named as Dell Creek eroded the Upper Cambrian sandstone over time leaving a gorge filled with a variety of ferns.  As this site is within Mirror Lake State Park, a sticker is required for visiting.  From within the park, one can take the Northwest Trail from the park office which…

Lodde’s Mill Bluff, SNA #52 (23/674)

Rising 300 feet above Honey Creek, Lodde’s Mill Bluff contains both a dry prairie and a cooler cliffside with a completely different plant composition.  It should first be noted that this site is owned by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and is managed by the University of Wisconsin Arboretum.  As such, written permission…

Schluckebier Prairie (22/674)

Schluckebier Prairie is a small remaining remnant (23 acres) of what was once a 14,000 acre “Sauk Prairie” Grassland prior to the arrival of European settlers.  German for  “drink a beer”, Schluckebier is an odd name for this site; perhaps the settlers used to tip back a few here in the old days.  There are…

Honey Creek, SNA #91 (21/674)

Originally protected as a bird sanctuary by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO), Honey Creek actually protects an array of habitats including a class II trout stream, rocky outcroppings, upland ridges, and boggy areas.  Over 80 species of birds nest at this site including rareities such as veery, blue-gray gnatcatcher, yellow-throated vireo, blue-winged warbler, Louisiana…