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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Richwood Bottoms (No. 249)

Richwood Bottoms

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Within the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, Richland County. T8N-R2W, Sections 7, 8, 18. T8N-R3W, Sections 12, 13. 926 acres.



Richwood Bottoms features one of the best floodplain forests along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway dominated by swamp white oak, with some of the largest oaks reaching 2 feet in diameter. The extensive bottomland forest varies from a typical southern wet-mesic forest along the river to a drier bottom forest located on sandy alluvial ridges divided by swales. Swamp white oaks with basswood dominates the low ridges while the flats contain silver maple with American elm, green ash, and river birch. Also present are hackberry and bitternut hickory. The understory includes buttonbush, cardinal flower, wood nettle, ostrich fern, royal fern, lance-leaf fog-fruit, false nettle, and groundnut. Poison ivy is common throughout. This area provides good quality habitat for wildlife that requires isolated blocks of mature forest. Richwood Bottoms is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1991.


Driving directions

From the junction of State Highway 60 and County Highway T in Port Andrew in southwestern Richland County, go west on 60 5.2 miles to an access lane on the south side of the highway, just before the bridge. Park at the end of the lane and walk southeast 0.5 mile to the site.


Richwood Bottoms is owned by:

  • WDNR


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.


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.

Allowable activities

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.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • 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
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

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

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Last revised: Monday, June 10, 2019