Situated along the southern banks of Nippersink Creek, the 377-acre conservation site is home to a variety of natural communities including savanna and woodland, marsh, fen and sedge meadow. The creek and its wetlands support a thriving diversity of fish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. Water fowl and other wading birds can be seen along the shorelines in addition to a myriad of native wetland plants and prairie wildflowers.
Once overgrown and choked by invasive brush, Nippersink Canoe Base now boasts a gallant oak and hickory grove where sun dapples the woodland floor. A small shelter provides a brief respite and lunch spot after a morning canoe ride, while a creekside fire pit and a short looped nature trails offers visitors additional ways to enjoy the scenic site.
In 1976, the District purchased 71 acres for its strategic location at the confluence of Nippersink Creek and the Fox River and opened the site shortly afterward. The site provided paddlers will a put in/pull out location. In 2006, the Conservation District purchased the 113-acre from the Kattner family who farmed the area since 1950. Shortly following, the District began an extensive restoration on the 113-acre site to restore the hydrology to the wetlands and to adjoin uplands to a diverse wetland complex. The former fens, marshes and sedge meadows surrounding the stream were ditched in the early 20th century to allow for agricultural fields. Thereby, sub-surface tile fields had to be removed, 8,300 feet of ditch were filled, 500 feet of severely eroded stream bank underwent stabilization to create a more natural slope, 35 acres of exotic species were removed, and a diverse mix of native prairie/wetland were planted to reduce erosion into the newly re-created wetlands and stream while providing improved cover for native wildlife.
In 2008, the Board of Trustees approved a Master Plan for the overall site. In fall of 2009 the site temporarily closed to the public to allow time to clear brush and make additional improvements. In fall 2010 the site is rededicated and opens to the public.
377 acres | 0.46 Miles of Trail
Nippersink Canoe Base
400 E US Highway 12, Spring Grove
Sunrise to Sunset
N42 25.014 W088 12.5249
November 1, 2014 – April 15, 2015