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Cassville Bluffs SNA Blitz UPDATE

posted Apr 9, 2012, 2:28 PM by Botanical Club of Wisconsin BCW   [ updated Apr 9, 2012, 2:44 PM ]
Cassville BotanyBlitz Update, 9 April 2012

 FROM:  Emmet Judziewicz, UWSP ;

 I camped at Nelson Dewey State Park and scouted the Cassville Bluffs State Natural Area on March 18-19 and wanted to share info on logistics with you all in preparation for our Botany Blitzs on the weekends of May 11-13 and June 22-23.

Camping at Nelson Dewey State Park

I camped there on the night of Sunday, March 18th.  It is a beautiful campground on a ridge top overlooking the Mississippi River.  Pasque flower was in bloom on Dewey Heights prairie a few hundred yards away.  It was so warm at night that I didn’t need a blanket, and I received some mosquito bites in the mor ning!

Click here for a PDF of a map of the Park with campsites numbered.

THIS CAMPGROUND IS LIKELY TO FILL UP ON JUNE 22-24 and possibly also the weekend of MAY 11-13.  So, I’ve made online reservations at 1-800-372-3607, or online at this site:

For weekend reservations, you must reserve 2 nights (Fri and Sat.), not just 1 night.  The cost (including reservation fee) was $33.70 for each weekend (2 nights per weekend, at a site without an electric hookup).

On May 11-13 I will be camping at SITE 10 (little red car).

On June 22-24 I will be camping at SITE 11 (same car).

Getting to the Cassville Bluffs Parking lot

The public parking space is a tiny driveway on the left side of Sand Lane just PAST the last house.   And I do mean JUST BARELY PAST THE HOUSE – by about 10 feet.  Turn left and you will see a sign that says “Mississippi Valley Conservancy – Cassville Bluffs”.  Park there.  YES, just 10 feet past the house, they will not come out to defend their Castle with deadly force. 

There is no need to go about the drama of getting access to the bluffs through private land on the bluff tops, etc. 

From the parking lot, walk the trail past the gate, on a very convenient and easy to follow hiking / ATV trail that takes you to the top of the prime bluff in 20 minutes.  

It took me just 1.5 hours hiking from car to the far end of the bluff at the far east end of the property, and back to the car.  Do NOT take the RR tracks back, though, there are constant big, high speed trains and very little space to move off to the side.

LOTS was in flower there on March 19 including locally peak Dicentra cucullaria, also Sanguinaria, Claytonia virginica, Arabis lyrata, Viola sororia and a few others.  The fresh Dicentra flowers had rosy pink flush on the legs of the "breeches" - had never seen that before.