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Potawatomi State Park Nature

Cliffs rising up from the waters of Sturgeon Bay are part of a geologic formation known as the Niagara Escarpment. You may see deer grazing on the bluff and hawks soaring overhead. The bluff at Potawatomi was once valued for the stone it provided for harbor improvements on Lake Michigan. Today it provides the foundation for white cedars, ferns and other plants to grow on.

Fawn at the park. Photo by Tristan KlossDense forests composed of sugar maple, basswood, white pine, red pine and white birch cover most of Potawatomi’s 1,200 acres. Beech trees, found in Wisconsin only within a few miles of Lake Michigan, are quite common here.

Potawatomi is home to white-tailed deer, raccoons, fox, gray squirrels, opossums, skunks and chipmunks. Wildflowers are most abundant in spring, but many species bloom in summer and fall.

At least 50 species of songbirds nest in or near the park and over 200 species have been recorded as migrants or residents. Watch for the pileated woodpecker in the forest and herring gulls, ring-billed gulls, common terns and Caspian terns along the shoreline.

Nature programs

Potawatomi State Park offers naturalist programs, guest speakers and musicians Memorial Day through Labor Day. The scope of the programs range from plants and animals to ecology, geology, archeology, history, environmental issues, astronomy and cultural interpretation. Check at the bulletin boards and park office for schedules.

Last revised: Friday October 17 2014