June 8, 2018 by: Kathleen Fleming
The Best Wildflower Walks in Southeastern Wisconsin
Late spring and early summer are the best times to view wildflowers in Southeastern Wisconsin. Some of the best wildflower trails are located inside the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Park, located just minutes from the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast. Here is our guide to the best wildflower walks in Southeastern Wisconsin.
At 1,050 feet, Bald Bluff is the highest point in Jefferson County. Bald Bluff is part of the Clifford F. Messinger Dry Prairie and Savanna Preserve, making it one of the best places to see rare dry-prairie flowers. At Bald Bluff, you’ll find blazing star, harebells, bluestem flowers, and more. You can reach the scenic overlook by taking a pleasant 3.5 mile hike across rolling hills and through dense forests.
North Prairie Cedar Glade & Oak Opening
A Cedar Glade is a type of savanna found in areas where the bedrock is unusually close the soil surface. While this may sound inhospitable to flora, the North Prairie Cedar Glade is actually a haven for pasque and prairie smoke flowers. You will also find eastern red cedars, one of the only trees able to grow in cracks in the savana’s bedrock or in deeper pockets of the soil. The cedar glade is also home to distinct and diverse wildlife, including snakes, turtles, lizards, and a variety of birds and mammals.
Scuppernong Wet Prairie
The 3,000 acres of Scuppernong Marsh are home to a great diversity of wildflowers and plant life. In this colorful and tranquil wet prairie, you will find bluestem, prairie dropseed, Virginia mountain mint, cream wild indigo, shooting-star, prairie smoke, and so much more. The flowers at Scuppernong Wet Prairie bloom in late May and continue well into the fall. Scuppernong is also home to grassland birds and a variety of beautiful butterflies.
Ice Age Trail
The nearby Walworth/Jefferson County chapter of the Ice Age Trail hosts popular special interest hikes, including prairie flower walks with their informed guides at the Ice Age Trail Alliance. These walks mainly happen in the early Spring, when the snow melts and colorful flowers begin to sprout throughout the trail. For more information, check out their calendar of events.
Planning a trip to Whitewater, Wisconsin? Book a stay at the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast, located just five minutes from Southern Kettle Moraine State Park!