Walk through a mosaic of habitat types common to central Wisconsin.
Stroll between waves of cattails blowing in the breeze on one of many
boardwalks that keep you above the marsh.
Relax beneath whispering white
pine trees, once the "green gold" of early settlers. Enjoy the
brilliant colors of the prairie in bloom.
Sit on a rustic bench beneath
towering 100-year-old trees in the Berard Oaks, a 4-acre restored oak
Wildlife abounds in the Reserve year-round.
The deer population
is healthy, attracting visitors from miles around. While walking the
trails, you have a good chance of seeing a doe grazing, a fawn playing,
or a buck displaying its antlers. Squirrels (gray, fox, and red) chase
each other in the oak forest canopy, while foxes and weasels hunt
stealthily on the forest floor. In the evening, flying squirrels glide
through the air; Schmeeckle is one of the few sites where both northern
and southern species live side-by-side.
In spring and early summer, listen for the ringing chorus of
frogs as spring peepers, chorus frogs, green frogs, gray treefrogs, wood
frogs, and toads sing for mates. A rainbow of butterflies frequent the
prairie flowers. Toward dusk, male woodcocks "peent" and take to
the sky for a dramatic and ceremonious dance.
The 24-acre Lake Joanis
in the southeastern corner of the Reserve is a perfect place for fishing,
canoeing, wildlife watching, photographing, or just plain relaxing. In
the fall, hundreds of geese use the lake as a stopover
during their migration. Fog rising from the lake in the early morning is
an alluring mysterious side of the Reserve.