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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Snapper Prairie (No. 168)

Snapper Prairie

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer/DNR



Jefferson County. T8N-R14E, Section 18 SW¼NW¼. 25 acres.



Located less than one mile north of Faville Prairie, Snapper Prairie is a small remnant of what was once a large 2,500 acre low prairie in the floodplain of the Crawfish River. Depending on rainfall and moisture conditions, the prairie may flood in spring and early summer due to poorly drained clay soils but may later appear very dry by mid-summer. The prairie is dominated by big blue-stem, little blue-stem, and prairie drop-seed, and has many showy forbs including prairie blazing-star, coneflowers, compass-plant, sky-blue aster and a large population of prairie-dock. Several plants indicative of alkaline conditions and more often found in fens, grow here -- Riddell's goldenrod, nodding ladies-tresses orchid, valerian, and narrow-leaved loosestrife. Noticeably absent from the prairie are legumes, which may be due to previous marsh hay mowing that would occur before seed set. There are good populations of savanna sparrows, eastern meadowlarks and other grassland specialists present. Small mammals, including meadow voles, shrews, and white-footed mice, are abundant. Snapper Prairie is owned by the Madison Audubon Society and was designated a State Natural Area in 1981.


Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 94 and 89 north of Lake Mills, go north on Highway 89 1.7 miles, then north on CTH G 3.2 miles, then east on an access lane (marked with fire number N8696) 0.5 mile to a parking area.


Snapper Prairie is owned by:

  • Madison Audubon Society


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.

To create your own custom map where you can zoom to a specific location, please use the DNR's mapping application.


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.

The good majority of SNAs are isolated and have few or no facilities. Some SNAs have vehicle access lanes or parking lots, but their accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions. Parking lots and lanes are not plowed during winter. Hiking trails may be nonexistent or consist of undeveloped footpaths. A GPS unit or compass and detailed topographic map are useful tools for exploring larger SNAs.

Non-DNR lands

Entrance fees: For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

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 "Resources" 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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Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.

Last revised: Monday, March 27, 2023