A few years ago I was motorcycling through Nicolet National Forest and the trillium were in bloom. Not the three or four plants you see at the nursery, but three or four million white flowers, as far as the eye could see deep into the forest. It was a wonderful experience.
For those of you who like to see wildflowers (not dig them up, mind you), here are a few places you might check on this week and into next weekend.
Try wandering around in the hills around Baraboo and you’ll really enjoy yourself. Especially Hemlock Draw, which has 500 acres of diverse species and rare native plants. One of our favorite haunts. Check out Natural Bridges while you’re in the area. I have fond memories of cooking cinnamon rolls in a dutch oven for a very hungry four year-old boy…
You might also look at Baxter’s Hollow, another great spot near Hemlock Draw. It’s ten miles north of Sauk City on Highway C. (It’s a glorious motorcycling road).
So long as you’re so close, drop in at Parfrey’s Glen, just a few miles north of Merrimac on the Wisconsin River. Jump on the Merrimac Ferry if you want to thrill the kids, even if you only go over and back again.
Nugget Lake County Park
John Bates, our naturalist friend, says that here is the best place to find Snow Trillium, which are smaller and shorter and bloom until late May. It’s in Pierce County, south of Ellsworth about ten miles.
A small little gem in Ozaukee County near Saukville. Only about 40 acres, but it’s full of cool spring ephemerals. Don’t pick the wild leeks. Yum. Do however enjoy the hepatica and the bloodroot leaves (the flowers are gone now).