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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Cady's Marsh (No. 72)

Cady's Marsh

Photo by Josh Mayer



Sauk County. T12N-R4E, Section 13. 80 acres.



Cady's Marsh contains dry sandy prairie grading into loamy mesic and wet-mesic prairie with sedge meadow and shallow emergent aquatic marsh also present. Deep-soil loamy prairies are one of the rarest natural plant communities in Wisconsin with nearly all having fallen to the plow. The site contains an interesting assemblage of plant species. Characteristic plants include blue-joint grass, big blue-stem, mountain mint, prairie blazing-star, and culver's-root. Uncommon species are lesser purple fringed orchid, Michigan lily, glaucous white lettuce, Riddell's goldenrod, Kalm's St. John's-wort, and Clinton's bulrush. Cady's Marsh is of historic interest in that it served as one of the last strongholds of prairie chickens in Sauk County. Cady's Marsh is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1998.


Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 23 and County H on the east side of Reedsburg, go east on 23 one mile, then south on Golf Course Road 0.5 mile to the northeast corner of the site.


Cady's Marsh 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.


Management objectives and prescriptions


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: Thursday, October 11, 2018