Summerton Bog is one of just a few remaining wetland areas of its kind in southern Wisconsin.
It is unique because Summerton Bog contains plant varieties—sedges, in particular—that are typically northern in type.
This small, protected area also contains a wide variety of wildflowers along a western section of calcareous fen. Rising above the willowy grasses is a five-acre oak island that stands in marked contrast to the low vegetation all around.
South central Wisconsin. Located in Marquette County approximately 30 miles north of Portage. The wetland preserve is dedicated as a National Natural Landmark and is available for education and research. The fen is located on two sides of a raised oak/hickory upland island, towards the southeast corner of the site.
Open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Very difficult walking conditions throughout the sedge meadow and bog portions of this preserve. There are 80 acres of uplands along Freedom Road.
Warning: Poison Sumac found throughout the sedge meadow and tamarack bog.
Summerton Bog stands in a glacial lakebed where muck and peat soils support the various wetland types and emergent aquatic communities. Water is at or near the surface year-round in the lowland areas, supplied by precipitation and five large artesian springs. The earliest maps of the area, dating back to the 1830s, show sedge meadow as the predominant vegetation. Subsequent land use for grazing, haying, logging and ditching disturbed the ecosystem, and the meadows are succumbing to an invasion of shrubs or are lost altogether outside the preserve.
The Conservancy began acquiring land at Summerton Bog in 1966. Today we own 451 acres.
Two primary types of land management activities occur here:
Some plants common to Summerton Bog:
Please see "Preserve Visitation Guidelines"
From Madison, take State Hwy 51 north: