- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Romance Prairie (No. 418)
Vernon County. T13N-R6W, Section 31. 77 acres
Romance Prairie features a small, dry prairie and restorable oak savanna situated on a steep southwest-facing slope overlooking the town of Romance and Cox Creek. The thin, rocky soil supports an excellent variety of dry prairie species with side-oats grama being the dominant grass species. Red cedar and other woody species have slowly invaded the prairie due to fire suppression. Exposures of limestone can be found near the summit of the slope, with sandstone exposed below. Dominant trees found on the wooded hillside include red oak and white oak with slippery elm, black cherry, and black walnut. The understory is dominated by gooseberry and hazelnut. Management including brushing and prescribed burning will help ensure the long-term viability of this site. Romance Prairie is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2005.
From the intersection of Highways 35 and 56 in Genoa, go east on 56 about 5.75 miles (0.6 mile east of the North Fork Bad Axe River) to a small access lane north of the road. Park and walk upslope into the site.
Romance Prairie is owned by:
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.
Management objectives and prescriptions
- Read the Romance Prairie management plan for details.
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.
In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.
- Cross country skiing
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
- Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), 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
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]