Together with you, we protect rare plant communities, threatened wildlife species, top-notch cold-water trout streams, archeological resources, scenic beauty, and land for sustainable agriculture – many of the best features of the southwestern Wisconsin landscape. Our nature preserves provide opportunities for people to get outdoors, connect with nature and develop healthy habits of good exercise. Please review the safety and trail condition notices below.
Descriptions and trail maps for the nature preserves we protect are below. The trail maps list activities allowed/not allowed on each nature preserve. Please review those when planning your visit.
We encourage public use, and we ask that our recreational use policy be followed as well as all state laws, local ordinances and our hunting guidelines. When visiting our protected lands, please be careful to avoid trespassing onto the lands of neighboring property owners.
Trail condition awareness
Please be aware that hiking on muddy trails causes permanent damage to sensitive habitats. If you come upon a muddy trail, go back – don’t go around. Going around muddy spots makes band conditions grow worse.
Hunting safety and awareness
We advise you to wear bright colors and be aware of the possible presence of hunters when visiting the nature preserves, as hunting is allowed on most of them (subject to state and local ordinances). Some forms of deer hunting will continue through year end, and some small game hunting continues through February, 2021. Click to see the Wisconsin DNR's 2020 hunting season dates.
Hiking responsibly during the COVID-19 Pandemic
#1 RULE: Always, always practice physical distancing and follow the guidelines of your local government or the federal Centers for Disease Control CDC, whichever are more restrictive. These guidelines provided by the American Hiking Society provide some important considerations for planning outdoor activities and visiting parks and preserves.
When planning to visit a nature preserve, consider a back-up plan in the event that you would arrive at your destination to find a crowded parking lot – an indication that might suggest a problem with social distancing. Hiking at non-peak hours is also a consideration for social distancing.