Prairie Flower Hike
Mark your calendar and join us on a guided hike for a rare glimpse of the rolling grassland and wildflowers that once carpeted much of this area. The hike is offered to the public by Mississippi Valley Conservancy and The Prairie Enthusiasts. It’s one of Mississippi Valley Conservancy’s Linked-to-the Land events, sponsored by Mayo Clinic-Franciscan Healthcare of La Crosse.
Hike guide, Gary Eldred, will identify native grasses and flowers and show where prairie restoration efforts have created more habitat for pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Gary, a founder of The Prairie Enthusiasts, has played a key role in protecting Borah Creek Prairie. The Prairie Flower Hike will be held Saturday, August 18, 2018, starting at 10 a.m. at the Borah Creek Prairie State Natural Area.
Borah Creek Prairie includes 138-acres of scenic remnant prairie, a rare glimpse into the rolling grasslands that were prevalent throughout the area 200 years ago. The property is a boon for native plant, bird, and butterfly enthusiasts. Grasses include big and little bluestem, Indian grass, side-oats grama, and prairie dropseed, interspersed with wildflowers such as pasque-flower, cream wild indigo, rattlesnake master, rough blazing star, yellow coneflower, bird’s-foot violet, downy gentian, and the Great Plains ladies-tresses orchid. The site has at least eight rare and protected plant species. Birders will be treated to a cacophony of grassland birds, including bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks.
Borah Creek Prairie was discovered by local Prairie Enthusiast Gary Eldred, who noticed the abundance of native wildflowers on the site and worked with the landowner to manage the prairie with prescribed fire and invasive species control. Borah Creek Prairie was acquired with funding from the Wisconsin DNR's Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Partners in the permanent protection of the site include Mississippi Valley Conservancy, The Prairie Enthusiasts, Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
From Fennimore head west on US Highway 18. Turn left onto Cemetery Road and right onto Mount Ridge Road for about 3 miles. The access road into Borah Creek Prairie is on the right at 11949 Mount Ridge Road. (Parking is available along the access road—stay near the top close to Mount Ridge Road, portions of the access road are currently washed out).