It’s not too late to enjoy the beauty of fall on the prairie, savanna, or oak woodland near you. The prairie does not produce the brilliant yellows, oranges and reds of the northern forest, but rather has a more quiet appeal and subtle beauty.
The images shown are of restored prairies in central Wisconsin, all within an hour’s drive–or, in some cases, an easy bike ride–from Madison. Some are urban and others in rural Wisconsin. Chances are there are many restorations and natural areas near you to visit.
The pleasures of the prairie are best enjoyed on a hike through one of our local nature preserves and restoration sites. A few suggestions for trip planning would include: Cherokee Marsh, a unit of City of Madison Parks; Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton, WI; The Swamplovers Preserve on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail as well as Dane County’s Festge County Park, both near Cross Plains.
And early morning is a good time for a peaceful walk in your local prairie restoration.
One often needs to slow down and look closely to enjoy the fall colors of the prairie.
Curtis Prairie, one of the world’s earliest restoration projects.
Aldo’s Prairie is sixty miles from the UW-Madison Arboretum’s Curtis Prairie. According to Leopold family members, work on this restoration project began the same year–1935– as plantings in Curtis Prairie were initiated.