Photo by Thomas A. Meyer/DNR
Abraham's Woods features an old-growth stand of southern mesic forest, which is increasingly rare in Wisconsin. Sugar maple, basswood, and red oak dominate the forest with other canopy trees including bitternut hickory, hackberry, black walnut, butternut, slippery elm, black cherry, and white oak. Surrounding the woods is a sandstone ridge, which curves both northeast and southeast creating an east-facing amphitheater. These steep slopes on the south and west boundary helped protect the area from wildfires and windstorms. The woods are known for their spectacular display of spring wildflowers and is noted by botanists for their floristic richness including two rare species. Herbaceous plants include sharp-lobed hepatica, dogtooth violet, false rue anemone, nodding trillium, and dutchmen's breeches. Large clumps of Goldie's fern in the theater and wood nettle and yellow jewelweed dominate the midsummer flora.
Typical of a mesic forest, it has few, widely scattered shrubs including chokecherry and American bladdernut. An active Great Blue Heron rookery is found in the woods. Visitors should be very careful not to disturb the birds and rookery in the spring, as too much disturbance may force the herons to abandon their nests and relocate the rookery. Abraham's Woods is owned by the University of Wisconsin and was designated a State Natural Area in 1961.
Please contact the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum at (608)263-7344 for access permission.
Abraham's Woods is owned by: the UW Board of Regents