Glacial Drumlin Heritage Area

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The Glacial Drumlin Heritage Area is a collection of wildlife parks, trails, and other natural areas covering 26 towns in 4 different counties [1]. The Heritage Area is categorized into 4 different sections: conservation parks, linking trails, river-based conservation areas, and wildlife areas. Overall, the Glacial Drumlin Heritage Area spans over an estimated total of 30,000 acres of land [2]. By connecting the preexisting state parks and wildlife areas with trails, the Heritage Area brings nature and conservation closer to peoples everyday life. By doing this they hope to foster pride and a deep appreciation for Wisconsin's natural landscape and wildlife that goes with it.

The Creation of the Heritage Area

The Heritage Area was originally created to conserve natural places and to also stimulate the economy that the parks run threw. The project was approved in 2009 by the Natural Resource Board and the Heritage Area has been expanding since then [3]. The department and partners of the project aims to protect cultural and historical sites that are in the Heritage Area. The way that the developers of the area are helping the local economy is by connecting all the parks by pre-existing trails to encourage shops and other businesses in the towns that the Heritage Area runs through to grow. One of the main goals of the Heritage Area is also to protect rural working farms by protecting farmable lands and teaching people about the importance of maintaining the practice [4]. Overall, the Glacial Drumlin Heritage Area was created to protect natural habitats and landscapes while also improving the everyday lives of the people in the area.

Main Areas

The Heritage Drumlin Heritage Area is separated into four main sites: conservation parks, river-based conservation areas, linking trails, and wildlife and natural areas [5]. Each separate section has a unique function within the larger area which helps the department and partners to achieve the goals they created when they made the Heritage Area.

Conservation Parks

There are currently 13 parks with in the Heritage area, with plans to expand 5 of the parks. The goal of the conservation parks is to allow people to actively engage with nature by walking, hiking, or biking through the many trails [6]. There are many activities that the conservation parks offer besides the trails. There are diverse activities, like camping and equestrian trails, to encourage people to get out and participate in nature.

River-based Conservation Areas

There are 2 types of areas within the River-based Conservation areas: recreation and preservation. The recreation areas include trails, boating, camping, and other water-based activities. This functions the same as the regular conservation parks, which are meant to encourage people to get outside, but it is the areas along rivers and creeks. The second area included focuses on improving water quality and protection of the land along “high quality open wetlands and floodplain forests along the Lower Bark River, Lower Koshkonong Creek, and Allen Creek” [7]. The native plants and animals of the area are also protected within their original habitats.

Linking Trails

There are about 100 miles of linking trails throughout the Glacial Drumlin Heritage Area [8]. The trails link the conservation parks to the surrounding cities and towns. The trails are mostly meant for everyone, the trails are relatively flat and are not difficult, while there are harder trails for hikers and bikers. The trails are also separated from the roads and were placed in areas that would have minimum impact on the surrounding areas.

Wildlife and Natural Areas

There are 11 State Wildlife parks and 12 State Natural areas within the Heritage Area [9]. The wildlife areas were originally created as hunting grounds for larger animals but there has been a shift in seeing the areas as a significant habitat area for smaller animals. The wildlife areas are still being used as a place for hunting and trapping but people have begun to appreciate the area as a recreation space. The plans to expand the parks and add additional recreational areas are meant to restore and protect the native plants and animals as well as the natural habitats.


The recreational aspect of the Glacial Drumlin Heritage Area is a huge part of the entire area. The many activates mentioned in each of the unique sections of the Heritage Part are meant to encourage interest in the natural world and teach the importance of conservation and preservation of the natural beauty of Wisconsin. The trails, hunting, boating, and sightseeing bring the attention of regular people which in turn helps the people who own the various parks to restore and protect the native landscape.

Link to Glacial Heritage Area Recreational Map:[10]


Along with expanding the existing parks in the Heritage Area, there are currently plans to add an additional 7 conservation parks. The parks that are marked for expansion are: Cold Spring, Dorothy Carnes, Garman Preserve, Korth Park and Lake Ripley LMD Preserve. The new parks that are planned on being added are: Cushman Mill, Holtzheuter, Hope Lake, North Shore Moraine, Oakland Highlands, Red Cedar Lake and Scuppernong Valley [11]. There are also plans to expand the Wildlife and Natural areas so that they can be better protected. The large numbers of expansions are a testament to the Glacial Drumlin Heritage Areas success in bringing people closer to nature and also conservation.


1. "Glacial Heritage Area," Jefferson County Tourism Council

2. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, "Glacial Heritage Area Plan" (October 21, 2009), 1

3. Matthew Frank, "Natural Resource Board Agenda Item" (2009), 1

4. Wisconsin DNR, "Glacial Heritage Area Plan," 1

5. Glacial Heritage Area, (Glacial Heritage Area, 2012-2015)

6. Glacial Heritage Area, (Glacial Heritage Area, 2012-2015)

7. Wisconsin DNR, "Glacial Heritage Area Plan," 2

8. Glacial Heritage Area, (Glacial Heritage Area, 2012-2015)

9. Wisconsin DNR, "Glacial Heritage Area Plan," 2-3

10. "Glacial Heritage Area: Recreational Opportunities Map," Map

11. Glacial Heritage Area, (Glacial Heritage Area, 2012-2015)

Article History

  • Originated by: Wyngma02 (2017-26-4)
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