Muralt Bluff Prairie
Photo by Thomas A. Meyer/DNR
Muralt Bluff Prairie occupies a long, sweeping ridge top in an area of older drift situated midway between the glaciated lands to the east and the Driftless Area to the west. This high-quality dry prairie contains numerous rare plants and animals. Dominant prairie grasses are little blue-stem, side-oats grama, Indian grass, and prairie drop-seed. Other grasses include prairie brome, purple love grass, and plains muhly.
Outstanding spring displays of pasque flower, shooting star, wood betony, and bird’s-foot violet occur in spring while asters, goldenrods, blazing stars, and gentians flower in fall. Several uncommon plant species are present and grassland birds are becoming more common as burning and brushing open the area. Muralt Bluff Prairie is owned by The Prairie Enthusiasts and the DNR. It was designated a State Natural Area in 1977.
Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.
The good majority of SNAs are isolated and have few or no facilities. Some SNAs have vehicle access lanes or parking lots, but their accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions. Parking lots and lanes are not plowed during winter. Hiking trails may be nonexistent or consist of undeveloped footpaths. A GPS unit or compass and a detailed topographic map are useful tools for exploring larger SNAs.
Hunting and trapping
This SNA has multiple landowners: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the landowner. In general, most DNR-owned land allows hunting and trapping. Partner-owned land may have other rules (for example, university-owned lands do not allow hunting or trapping). Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the Resources tab.
NOTE: Hunting is allowed on both Prairie Enthusiasts and DNR land.
Allowable activities: DNR-owned land
The activities listed below are generally allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted below and posted with signs on site.
- Cross country skiing
- Scientific research (permit required)
- Outdoor education
- Wild edibles (What is this?)
- Pets (Rules)
- Wildlife viewing
Prohibited activities: all SNAs
- Camping and campfires
- Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead.
- Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
- Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use.
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR].
Green County. T2N-R9E, Section 6. T3N-R8E, Sections 25, 36. 135 acres.
From Albany, go west on State Highway 59 for 2 miles, then north and west on County Highway F for 1.8 miles, then south for 0.1 miles on an access lane to a small parking area. Look for the State Natural Area sign. For the DNR-owned land: from Albany, go west on State Highway 59 3.7 miles to a DNR parking area north of the road.
The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities.
Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details. The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries. To create your custom map where you can zoom to a specific location, please use the DNR's Mapping Application.
Muralt Bluff Prairie is owned by:
- The Prairie Enthusiasts
- Wisconsin DNR