Over the past few months we have tried to deepen our knowledge of the Scuppernong River watershed and offer you the opportunity to do the same via our posts at this site. Thanks again for taking the journey with us! I have been visiting Paradise Springs for over 30 years and I’ll never forget the mind altering experiences I had there hanging out with friends and learning to jam on my guitar. After attending an Oak Opening Workshop at DNR Forest Headquarters in the morning, I hiked Paradise Springs Creek from its source at Paradise Springs, across the prairie, to where it joins the Scuppernong River.
It was standing room only at the Oak Opening Workshop thanks to the hard work and planning of Amanda Prange, Matt Zine and Don Dane, and the support and participation of The Kettle Moraine Land Trust, the WDNR, the Tallgrass Prairie & Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium, The Nature Conservancy, The Waukesha County Land Conservancy, the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc and Joy Wolf, UW Parkside. There were many land restoration professionals there as well, but most of the audience consisted of private land owners who are actively working to restore their own oak savannas.
Lindsay and I were honored to jointly receive the Land Steward of the Year Award from the Oak Savanna Alliance for our work at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail. Barb Holtz, who won the award last year, passed the acorn to us to carry, or maybe bury, until next year.
By the time the workshop was over, the rain had let up and I made my way to Paradise Springs, which is on Hwy N just north of Hwy 59.
Paradise Springs has a colorful history reminding us of the enduring allure of a gushing spring. Let’s take a look.
The water was put to many uses including a power generation.
A stream gaging station was installed here around the same time as the one on the Scuppernong River.
Short-eared owls have been spotted recently in the area near the historic log cabin, which is across Hwy N from the springs.
This goes out to Ron Kurowski, who was so instrumental in the success of the Scuppernong River Habitat Area restoration project.
Now we follow Paradise Springs Creek towards to the Scuppernong River. I was surprised and amazed at the extensive stone work that the DNR did (with help from SEWTU, I’m assuming) to restore the creek to its original stream bed.
The views from this wide open prairie are outstanding!
Ever since I used to mow this section of the Ice Age Trail, I always wanted to explore the Paradise Springs Creek.
The scenery is marvelous as we near the Scuppernong River.
We passed this way on the second leg our out journey down the Scuppernong River.
That was a wonderful hike! The bank along the Paradise Springs Creek is very well defined and I think it would be possible to take this hike almost any time of year.
See you at the Springs!