Blue River Bluffs
Blue River Bluffs State Natural Area Located in the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin, Blue River Bluffs features a complex of dry prairies and oak savannas situated on sand terraces above the floodplain of the lower Wisconsin River. The high quality prairies on the steep bluff faces are rich in species diversity and vary from dry open prairie to areas overgrown with shrubs due to fire suppression. Common grasses include Indian grass, little blue-stem, needle grass, and June grass. Showy forbs growing here are pasque flower, lead-plant, death camas, whorled milkweed, silky aster, butterfly milkweed, goat’s-rue, spiderwort, groundcherry, and New Jersey tea. The savannas surrounding the prairie openings occupy the bluff tops and the lower elevations of the sand terraces. Numerous open grown oaks are scattered throughout the area with black, white, red, and bur oaks present. Six rare plants have been located at this site including the state threatened prairie Indian plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum) and cream gentian (Gentiana alba), the state endangered pale false foxglove (Agalinis skinneriana), and three special concern species Richardson sedge (Carex richardsonii), cleft phlox (Phlox bifida), and upland boneset (Eupatorium sessilifolium var brittonianum). The savanna understory is recovering with the application of prescribed fire. Blue River Bluffs is owned by the DNR and was designated a state natural area in 1996. Driving directions From the intersection of State Highway 133 and County Highway T in Blue River, go west on Highway 133 0.75 mile, then west on Old County C Road 0.8 mile, then south on Chezik Road 0.2 miles. Park along the road and walk upslope into the natural area. For the western tract, continue on Old County C Road 0.8 mile. Park along the road.