Celebrating Mammoth’s Back Preserve!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Land Protection Success, Dane County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, Dane County Conservation Fund
The double hump, unglaciated bedrock hills of the newly acquired Mammoth's Back Preserve. Photo by Kevin Thusius.

We are super excited to announce that on Monday the Ice Age Trail Alliance purchased 46 acres of land in Dane County at the edge of the Driftless region near the Village of Cross Plains.

This success is thanks to YOU! Along with the help of conservation-minded donors in the Dane County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance and local business owner, Mary Devitt, of the Crossroads Coffeehouse, we were able to raise private funds to supplement funding from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and the Dane County Conservation Fund.

We’ve named the property Mammoth’s Back Preserve because of its notable geological features which resemble the double hump of a woolly mammoth’s back. (You may need some imagination to see it!)

The property, south of US-14 and east of county highway P, was on the market and slated for a home site. Instead, it will be permanently protected and given new life as a host to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, where it will provide more off-road hiking experiences in Dane County.

Currently, the unglaciated, bedrock hills, forming the double hump, host a remnant prairie, and the remaining land is being farmed. Mammoth’s Back Preserve will be a rewarding property to restore to prairie and oak savannah, providing habitat for native plants, insects like Monarch butterflies, and grassland birds.

Mammoth’s Back Preserve will be officially open to the public sometime in spring once we develop a safe parking option and install property boundaries.

In celebration!



Kevin Thusius
Director of Land Conservation

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Land Protection success, Mammoth's Back Preserve, Dane County Conservation Fund, Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
As seen from the hilltop on Mammoth’s Back Preserve, the glacier’s further advance can be seen as the small rise in the agricultural field east of the Black Earth Creek. Photo by Kevin Thusius.

To learn more about our land protection efforts, go here.

If you’re inspired to be part of future land protection efforts, please consider donating to the Robert & Victoria Connors Land Resource Fund, go here.