Paradise Valley Wildlife Area
Waterbodies on or adjacent to this property include the Bark River, Reagon Lake and Beaver Dam Lake. These water bodies provide habitat for resident and migratory wildlife. The Bark River is considered a Warm Main Stem river and is identified in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan as a Conservation Opportunity Area because of its waters containing significant populations of fish and rare invertebrates such as mussels and dragonflies. The Glacial Drumlin State Trail runs along the north side of the Bark River and offers unique access to this parcel of the wildlife area.
Habitat management within Paradise Wildlife Area is focused on expanding and enhancing existing grasslands, oak forests and emergent wetlands. Major management tools include timber harvest, prescribed burning and mowing. Wetland management will be conducted through periodic drawdowns to reinvigorate plant diversity and food sources. Populations of invasive species are controlled or eliminated by cutting, pulling, burning, herbicide treatment and/or biocontrol. The wildlife area is also managed to provide opportunities and increased access for public hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation while protecting the qualities of the unique native communities and associated species found within the project Paradise Valley Wildlife Area.
On March 25, 2009, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved the Paradise Valley project. This project was originally conceived as an addition to the Kettle Moraine State Forest, but because of the project's focus on wildlife habitat and department program priorities, Paradise Valley was designated a State Wildlife Area in 2012. A feasibility and environmental assessment for the project provides additional details about the project.
The Paradise Valley Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:
- Boating (non-motorized)
- Cross-country skiing (no designated trail)
- Hiking (no designated trail)
- Hunting (noted for waterfowl, deer and turkey)
- Snowshoeing (no designated trail)
- Wild edibles/gathering
- Wildlife viewing
- Bathroom: No
- Parking Lot: Yes, see maps section
- Campground: No
- Trails: No
The Paradise Valley Wildlife Area disability-accessible hunting blind
Hunters with disabilities are now able to use an accessible hunting blind on the Paradise Valley Wildlife Area-Bark River Unit. The Waukesha County Conservation Alliance generously donated the blind, providing a recreational opportunity for hunters with disabilities.
The access to the blind is mowed and graveled so hunters can drive right to the blind and their vehicle can be parked at the fork in the road for an easy turnaround. If disabled hunters are interested in obtaining a permit for vehicle use on the property they can find more information on the Permits for people with disabilities page.
- Reagons Lake Unit Parking Lot
- Beaver Dam Lake Unit Parking Lot
- School Section Lake Unit Parking Lot
- Bark River Unit Parking Lot
If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.
This wildlife area has been adopted by Southeast Wisconsin and the Jefferson County chapter of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.