Guided Hike Offered at New Conservancy Nature Preserve
on Kickapoo River in Monroe County
Mississippi Valley Conservancy invites the public to its first Wilton Hemlocks Summer Hike at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 14th, 2018. Hikers will have an opportunity to see several ecologically significant features on the newly protected land that is home to populations of declining species including cerulean warblers, Acadian flycatchers, and eleven other state-protected rare species, including several bat species. This event is part of the Conservancy’s 2018 “Seasons in the Coulee Region” series of outdoor experiences sponsored by Gundersen Health System.
The land, covered mostly with woods and sedge meadow, is located on both sides of the Kickapoo near the town of Wilton in Monroe County. It is especially significant for its hemlock relict – a moist patch of hemlock forest that is considered an ecological gem unique to this area and extremely rare worldwide. Hemlock trees, some of them 150 to 200 years old, stand above the river, which is flanked by conifer-clad sandstone cliffs, springs, and seeps. In addition to the hemlock relict, the property has alder thickets, springs and marsh, and includes a half-mile frontage on both sides of the river.
Hikers will explore this new preserve and learn about the native species that depend on such imperiled habitat. They are likely to have a sensual experience that includes seeing light filtering through the branches, the smells of humus and duff, and the knowledge that there’s a barred owl watching, though they may never see it.
Please RSVP to Kathy Frise-Groth at 608-784-3606 ext. 6 or email at email@example.com.
Directions: From La Crosse take I-90 East to County 16 in Sparta. Exit I90 and turn left /West onto County 16. Continue on 16 for one mile then take the third exit on the traffic circle for County 71 South. Continue on 71 South through Norwalk for 20 miles until you reach Wilton. In Wilton turn right/South on S Water St/HWY 131 and continue South for 1 mile. Destination parking is on the East side of the road at 25690 HWY 131 Wilton, WI.
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