The park is known for it’s two lakes – Beckman and Zander – which are man-made reservoirs created by damming up Zander Creek. A large plaque stands at Beckman Lake detailing the efforts by the Green County Conservation League to create these features in the late 1960’s.
Zander Lake Nature Trail
There are basically two trails here – one circles Zander Lake, the other goes around Beckman Lake. I started on the Zander Lake Nature Trail as it was shorter. The path runs along the earthen dam separating both lakes to start and is popular for fishing.
There is a variety of habitat here – oak forests, lake waters, and swamp filled with reeds – which hosts a diverse range of wildlife. An Osprey platform exists across Beckman Lake but I didn’t spot any today.
The path continues and turns into the grass & woodland scenery that is typical of our state.
Another view looking back across Zander Lake. Clouds are getting a bit moody…
Midway through there is a bridge crossing spring-fed Zander Creek which feeds the lakes. Several small riffles/rapids which are fun to look at but not big enough to be a waterfall on its own.
The trail continues & loops back around the lake. This area doesn’t seem to attract many visitors and is overgrown in many spots. Nature trail signs detail some rare butterflies & salamanders but I couldn’t photograph any of them on this day.
At trails end it started to rain and I called it quits. Bug pressure here is overwhelming right now due to recent rains. Time for a lunch break & planning the next destination.
Very easy hike. Lots of bugs. Good scenery but nothing overwhelming. Most other visitors were here for fishing as lakes are scarce in the Driftless Area and this one is stocked with fish by the DNR.Lat = 42.5821953 , Long = -89.765213 -- Show at Google Maps