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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
608-266-0394

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Caryville Savanna (No. 263)

Caryville Savanna

Photo by E. Epstein


Overview

Location

Dunn County. T26N-R11W, Sections 5-9. 420 acres.

Description

Description

Caryville Savanna features an extensive and exceptionally high quality oak barrens situated on Brush Island, a low, sandy island in the Chippewa River. Groves of bur, white, black, and Hill’s oaks are interspersed with prairie grasses and forbs. Characterized by a vegetation gradient from east to west, bur oaks dominate the eastern portion and are scattered among tall grasses such as big blue-stem and Indian grass while black or Hill's oaks are found among the shorter grasses such as little blue-stem and June grass. Among the characteristic forbs are flowering spurge, puccoon, lead-plant, white wild indigo, bush clover, spiderwort, dotted mint, ground cherry, white sage, and prairie smoke. Lichens and sand club-moss are dominant in the sandy, undisturbed areas. Shrubs are invading the openings with gray dogwood, smooth sumac, and prickly ash forming dense thickets in places. Several small open swales occur along the east edge of the savanna with sedges, rushes, and white meadowsweet as the dominant plants. The low-lying eastern end of the island is wooded with silver maple, green ash, river birch, and hackberry. Typical understory plants include winterberry, eastern wahoo, cut-leaved coneflower, and sedges with stinging nettle and poison ivy abundant in the understory. The state-threatened red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) has been found on Brush Island and bald eagles nest within a few miles of the area. The grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), a species of special concern is also present. Caryville Savanna is owned by Dunn County and was designated a State Natural Area in 1991.

Access

Driving directions

By canoe. From the intersection of Highways 85 and H just north of Caryville, go north on H across the Chippewa River 0.5 mile to a boat landing. Canoe downstream approximately 3 miles to Brush Island south of the main channel and north of Meridean Slough. Canoe access is also available from 240th Avenue.

Ownership

Caryville Savanna is owned by:

  • Dunn County

Maps

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.

Recreation

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Non-DNR lands

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the "Resource links" heading above. More details regarding allowable uses of this non-DNR owned SNA may be posted, if available, under the "Access" tab above.

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Prohibited activities

  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
  • Collecting of animals, non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
  • Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
  • Camping and campfires
  • Geocaching

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

Last revised: Friday, June 20, 2014