One of the perks The Buckthorn Man gets for cutting brush in the Kettle Moraine is free camping at Ottawa Lake. My friends in the DNR, who work out of the Kettle Moraine State Forest — Southern Unit, have always supported me with tools, herbicide, advice, and most importantly — a shared love for the land and commitment to do the best we can with scarce resources. They forego a little camping revenue to thank me for volunteering and I do appreciate it.
There are two walk-in sites at the Ottawa Lake Campground (#335 and #334) and they are the prettiest camping spots around. The view from #335, My Shangri-La, favors Ottawa Lake, while the view from #334 looks out over the Ottawa Lake Fen State Natural Area. I explored the east shoreline of Ottawa Lake on that first camping adventure in the Fall of 2013 and realized what a beautiful oak woodland was there, albeit infested with huge, old, gnarly buckthorn. Over the last two years, with a little help from my friends, we have cleared the buckthorn from the beach, north along the east shore, and all the way around to the tamarack grove on the northwest side of the fen.
Things haven’t worked out quite the way I had planned this year, but I did manage to get a week of camping in at site #335 at the end of October. Here are a few images from that visit.
Lindsay Knusdvig has helped me many times at the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA, and he joined me again during my recent camping trip to help finish cutting the last stretch of buckthorn on the east shore of Ottawa Lake. Thanks Lindsay!
See you at The Fen!