Friends’ Calendar of Hikes/Paddles 2014

Based on the tremendous response we had in 2013, Friends has a fun and exciting schedule of paddles and hikes that explore the many wonderful corners of the Mukwonago River watershed.  Watch for these events as details may change.

April 12th Hike the Crooked Creek Nature Preserve, Wonderful, successful hike with 13 folks which Jerry Ziegler narrated. Fun and informational on truly unique site. You can visit yourself.

May 24th Paddle the Mukwonago River MRU-KMSF to Beulah/Marsh Road 9:00am 

Directions: Main entrance to the Mukwonago River Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest (the former Rainbow Springs golf course). The parking lot is on CTH LO approximately a mile east of CTH E.

Culverts were installed and the route of the river moved when the Rainbow Springs golf course was built in the 1960’s. The culverts were removed in 2013 and the river has been largely returned to its original path. Those of you who paddled the river with Friends last summer saw this work in process and can experience this restored segment in a portage-free paddle. Increased populations of important river flora and fauna have already been observed now that the river has been allowed to flow naturally. The paddle will end at Beulah Road.

June 21st Paddle the Beulah Lake tributary 9:00am 

Directions: Watch for details soon.

The unnamed tributary that flows from the north end of Lake Beulah under County Road J joins the Mukwonago River approximately a quarter mile east of Beulah Road.  Flowing through lush wetlands and sandy bottomed, this little visited tributary offers a beautiful paddle route through an ecologically significant area of the watershed that supports abundant mussel populations.  Join us at the start for a discussion of plans to reconfigure the Beulah Lake dam and its implications for Lake Beulah and the Mukwonago Rive before we paddle the tributary.  We hope to have representatives from UW-Milwaukee explain the multi-year mussel research efforts underway in this stretch.  Paddlers have a choice at the confluence with the Mukwonago River – paddle upriver to Beulah Road or extend the trip by heading downriver to CTH I.

July 19th Hike the Meyer Nature Preserve 8:00am 

Directions: The preserve is located at S104-W38319 Highway 67, about 2.5 miles southwest of Eagle. The entry drive is one mile southwest of the intersection of Highway 67 and Highway LO.

A picturesque combination of woodlands, restored prairies and wetlands, this 405-acre preserve is primary headwaters for the Mukwonago River. There are 3 miles of hiking trails and we will explore the varied ecosystems that these trails pass through as we learn about the work done by The Nature Conservancy to protect this crucial uplands habitat that helps to preserve the health of the Mukwonago River.

September 13th Paddle Eagle Springs Lake to Lulu Lake 9:00am 

The classic Mukwonago River watershed paddle.  Boat rentals are available at Eagle Springs Pub so you don’t have to have your own boat in order to participate.  Lulu Lake is a 95-acre kettle lake with excellent water quality and tremendous surrounding fens, bogs, sedge meadows, prairie remnants and Oak openings.  Making up the heart of the Lulu Lake State Natural Area that encompasses more then 1,800 acres of DNR and Nature Conservancy owned land, Lulu Lake offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience this number and diversity of ecosystems in close proximity.

October 18th  Hike Pickerel Lake Fen- Self Guided 9:00am or anytime

Directions: N8957 Pickerel Jay Road East Troy, WI 53120. Upper parking lot.

Among the most rare wetland type in North America, Fens rely on natural springs for their existence and thus are only found when very specific conditions are present.  The Pickerel Lake Fen is tremendously biologically diverse and supports a number of rare or endangered species.  Oak openings are being restored at the preserve.  This plant community is extremely rare and is characterized by large burr and white oak trees with a prairie-like understory of grasses and wildflowers. More…