Getting in Touch with Nature

Getting in touch with the natural world is right for people of all ages and abilities. Increasing time outdoors in nature has been shown to be helpful to both physical and mental health. Floating on the Sugar River in a canoe or kayak is a great activity, but there are many other opportunities:

  • Go on a hike to identify local birds by sight and song.
  • Bring paper outside and journal, draw or paint.
  • Scoop macroinvertebrates out of the water to observe and release.
  • Drop a line in the water for a day of fishing.
  • Enjoy the fall color and start a leaf collection.
  • Watch spring return as the wildflowers bloom before the tree leaves fill in.
  • Bring a picnic and enjoy the day.
  • Set up a telescope in an area of the watershed with dark sky.
  • Walk your dog - but be sure to pick up after.
  • Impress your friends with your photography of the watershed.
  • Attend an outdoor concert on a summer evening.
  • Cross country ski or snowshoe on a winter’s day.
  • Visit a dairy and indulge in a treat.

The Lower Sugar River has a number of dedicated natural areas that are open to the public. Many of them have rare or endangered species, unique ecosystems, and offer a wonderful way to get to know your watershed in an interactive and personal way. Please take the time to explore each and every one of these important natural resource areas. We invite you to post your comments, photos, and video on our Facebook page

Ward/Swartz Decatur Woods State Natural Area

Pearl Island Recreational Corridor

Avon Bottoms Wildlife Area

Rock County Sugar River Park

Sugar River Alder Forest Preserve

Colored Sands Forest Preserve

Sugar River Forest Preserve

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