Swamplovers Nature Preserve

Nature Study

The Swamplovers Preserve is a mesocosm of southwestern Wisconsin’s presettlement biological heritage, supporting large-scale, high-quality habitat blocks of open water waterfowl breeding ponds,dry to wet prairie, southern sedge meadow,oak savanna, and open oak woodland communities along the wetland to upland continuum.This gradient of habitat diversity promotes species diversity, and the Swamplovers Preseve is a biodiversity hotspot. To date, populations of more than 1,000 indigenous specieshave been documented at the Preserve, 68 of which have at-risk conservation status. The IAT Table Bluff Segment provides public access to the property. On November 24, 2020, the ownership and management responsibilities of the Swamplovers Preserve, a 433-acre property perched on the rolling hills of southwestern Dane County, transferred from the Swamplovers Foundation to the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA). Only a portion of the Preserve is open to the public at this time. IATA will continue to welcome researchers and anticipates embedding their findings into its adaptive restoration management plans for the Swamplovers Preserve. The Preserve will remain host to busloads of students, teachers, and many other individuals and groups who want to immerse themselves in the learning this outdoor classroom offers. The yellow blazes will continue to help hikers navigate the Ice Age Trail’s route through the Preserve’s woods and prairies. The white or blue blazes will offer additional loops or spurs for the public to walk.


(608) 798-4453
CH KP & Scheele Rd, Cross Plains, WI 53528
43.121121 -89.673634
  • Parking
At this time the only trails open to the public are the yellow-blazed Ice Age Trail, white-blazed loop trails and blue-blazed spur trails. There is no timetable for opening other trails on the Preserve.
Local Knowledge:
Original surveyor’s notes dating from October 1832 described Section 33 of Township 8 North Range 7 East as consisting of bur and white oak savanna interspersed with prairie and “marsh.” Despite 180 years of Euro‐American occupancy, a shadow of this presettlement condition has persisted on this landscape.


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