The main areas of the Preserve
The Lakeshore Nature Preserve is the natural areas on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus, Including Picnic Point, Frautschi Point, and the Lakeshore Path. The 300 acres Preserve extends along Lake Mendota from the UW Memorial Union to the Village of Shorewood Hills and includes more than three miles of Lake Mendota shoreline.
The Preserve is an urban natural area in the middle of the city providing people opportunity to hike, picnic, and watch birds and other animals. The Preserve also serves the educational mission of the University, providing a place for teaching and research. Much of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve is made up of one of several types of woodland, but the area also includes natural and restored marshes, lake edges, and open land including gardens, old fields, and restored prairie.
At each end of the Preserve, bluffs rise from lake Mendota at Muir Knoll (above Muir Woods) and at Eagle Heights Woods. The Preserve also has miles of shoreline and two peninsulas, Frautschi Point and Picnic Point, which extend into Lake Mendota.
Due to the large number of trails in the Preserve, it can be accessed at many places along its length. However, free parking is limited. Parking is available at the entrance to Picnic Point on University Bay Drive, at the entrance to Frautschi Point on Lake Mendota Drive. The smaller Raymer's Cove PArking Lot, also off Lake Mendota Drive, provides a view of the Lake and access to North Shore Woods. The Preserve is easily accessible from the UW-Madison Campus.
Descriptions of areas
The Preserve has been traditionally divided into named areas - see the map - which have different human usage histories and have been managed separately. The list of descriptions of each area begins at the east end of the Preserve with Muir Woods and progresses west to Eagle Heights Woods. Each area has the following information:
Key Features note a few highlights of the area. Ecology focuses on the natural history of the area, including the current plant and animal life and restoration plans. History focuses on geological and human history.