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Thursday - July 07, 2016

From: Woodland Park, CO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: When to See Wisconsin Wildflowers Blooming?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

When is the best time for Southern Wisconsin wildflower blooming?

ANSWER:

The Wildflowers of Wisconsin website has some wildflower destinations that you might consider ...

Oh my, so many options. One that always comes to mind is the Table Bluff Segment of the Ice Age Trail, near Cross Plains. June or July depending how this season goes. I’ve got a new edition of 60 Hikes Madison coming out in a month (already on Amazon) and there are a number of them listed in there. Cherokee Marsh north isn’t bad either. Greene Prairie in the Arboretum, south of the Beltline may have Pasque flowers right now. Worth hunting for. 

If you’re ever in the La Crosse area check out Holland Sand Prairie State Natural Area, the visitor center of the La Crosse District of the Upper Miss. National Wildlife Refuge on Brice Prairie or the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge.

These 3 sites have hiking trails. Holland Sand Prairie and the Brice Prairie tract of the Upper Miss Refuge are pretty close to one another. HSP is a fine example of a remnant prairie whereas the Brice Prairie tract is an example of a planted prairie.

In addition to hiking trails, Trempealeau has a nice auto tour loop which is even better on a bike.

And there's website that is a guide to Wisconsin's best wildflower hikes that might be of interest. This website lists where to hike and what to look for. For example, Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit. Just north of West Bend, you’ll find more than 132 miles of trails that wind through beautiful glacial terrain. Select from hiking options suitable for all ages and abilities and explore this rolling landscape that’s filled with spring wildflowers.

What to look for

Orchids: Keep an eye out for Yellow Lady’s Slippers, a flower that resembles a small, delicate shoe. The flowers can grow as tall as 30 inches but most are much smaller. Look for them in damp, shady areas of the forest.

And for next year, this article from 2014 lists Department of Natural Resources State Natural Areas that had good wildflower viewing in late May.

 

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