Sign up for our weekly feature on State Natural Areas - direct to your inbox.
- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Clover Valley Fen (No. 213)
Walworth County. T4N-R15E, Section 22 S½SE¼. 66 acres.
Clover Valley Fen features a series of peat mounds that rise eight to ten feet above the surrounding lowland, formed by accumulations of partially decayed vegetation around slowly flowing springs. Radiocarbon dating of these and similar mounds in the area indicate that mound formation began approximately 11,500 years ago. Centered on the site is a large, L-shaped mound with four distinctive high points. This mound has many characteristic fen plants including grass-of-parnassus, lousewort, Kalm's lobelia, common bog arrow-grass, valerian, Riddell's goldenrod, and several rare and restricted species. In the southeast corner of the site are three small mounds, each with a distinct flora. Surrounding the mounds is sedge meadow, which has been grazed but maintains good integrity and diversity. Bisecting the tract is a small, sand-bottomed stream. Soils in the lower areas are Adrian and Houghton mucks, with higher ground to the east being Drummer silt loam. Clover Valley Fen is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1987.
From the intersection of County Hwy. P and U.S Hwy. 12 east of Whitewater, go south on County Hwy. P 2.25 miles, then west and south on Hi-Lo Road 1.25 miles, then west on DNR Campground Road to the northwest corner. Walk northwest 200 yards to the site.
Clover Valley Fen 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.
Manage the site as a calcareous fen preserve, a wetland protection site, and an ecological reference area. Natural processes and prescribed fire will determine the structure of the fen. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native calcareous fens.
The native fen species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using brushing and especially fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Occasionally native wetland shrubs may be retained at low densities. A fire management program will be the primary driver of the ecological characteristics at the site. Other allowable activities include control of invasive plants and animals, and access to suppress wildfires.
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, 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]