Northeast Coulee Oak Woodland, SNA #597 (231/679)

Northeast Coulee Oak Woodland comprises a southern dry-mesic forest on a north-facing slope within the Coulee Experimental Forest in La Crosse County.  It is directly adjacent to the north boundary of the Billy Goat Ridge unit of Berg Prairie & Billy Goat Ridge SNA.  I reached this site by continuing north through the latter natural area…

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,…

Tomahawk Lake Hemlocks, SNA #510 (223/675)

Tomahawk Lake Hemlocks features a northern mesic forest with hemlock and yellow birch on rolling topography betwen Tomahawk and Little Carr Lakes.  Kettle depressions are found throughout the site.  Park on Rainbow Road, near the intersection with Robin Road and beyond the entrance to the Macnaughton Correctional Center. Hemlock forests are one of my favorite…

Trout Lake Conifer Swamp, SNA #21 (220/675)

Trout Lake Conifer Swamp is a small, northern wet-mesic forest on a carpet of sphagnum moss found northeast of Woodruff in Vilas County.  It is part of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and can be reached via CTH N to Perch Lane, just northeast of the intersection of CTH M and CTH N. A…

Allequash Lake & Pines, SNA #508 (218/675)

Allequash Lake & Pines encompassees a mostly second-growth northern dry mesic forest surrounding the southern basin of Allequash Lake in Vilas County.  Part of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, this site can be reached by parking at the boat launch at the end of an access road heading east from CTH M.  There are…

Milwaukee River Floodplain Forest, SNA #194 (193/675)

Milwaukee River Floodplain Forest features floodplain and dry-mesic forests along a stretch of the East Branch of the Milwaukee River in Washington County.  Parking is along the roadside on Oak Drive, just north of CTH H, where the gravel shoulder widens a bit near the Ice Age Trail. My first visit here was in too-early…

Aurora Lake, SNA #127 (163/675)

Aurora Lake features, well, Aurora Lake surrounded by a northern wet forest.  The lake is known for its wild rice population.  Access is via a boat launch at the end of Aurora Lake Road. This visit was a rather abbreviated one for a couple of reasons.  One: no kayak with which to explore the lake.  Two:…

Plum Lake Hemlock Forest, SNA #26 (162/675)

Plum Lake Hemlock Forest features an old-growth forest wedged between Plum, Star, and Razorback Lakes.  A separate island parcel is found within Plum Lake.  Accesss is either form the east via Hook Road or from the west via Rearing Pond Road. This is one of those sites that I don’t have a great recollection of…

Lake Laura Hardwoods, SNA #500 (161/675)

Lake Laura Hardwoods contains an old-growth northern mesic forest on the south shore of Lake Laura in central Vilas County within the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest.  A boat launch that doubles as a parking area is found at the end of Deerfoot Road. As denoted by its number, Lake Laura Hardwoods was the 500th…

Clover Valley Fen, SNA #213 (130/675)

Clover Valley Fen features a series of peat mounds with characteristic fen flora just northwest of the Whitewater Lake Campground in the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit.  To reach it is not the easiest endeavor.  Park either on Hi-Lo Road near the campground entrance or you could risk parking in a campsite to…

Young Prairie, SNA #132 (129/675)

Young Prairie features a wet-mesic prairie amidst a mixture of degraded lands straddling the Jefferson-Walworth County line.  It can be reached via a DNR access lane north of Bluff Road or just to the northeast via a parking area off of Young Road. I have visited this site three times and have yet to explore…

Clifford Messinger Dry Prairie & Savanna Preserve, SNA #230 (128/675)

Clifford Messinger Dry Prairie & Savanna Preserve is composed of 13 separate parcels of dry prairie and oak savanna scattered across 11 miles in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  Over the years, the number of parcels has varied as parcels were acquired, delisted as SNA’s, or subsumed into an existing SNA….