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Seminary Woods in Saint Francis

Activities: Birding, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing

A widely revered woodland owned by Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, located near Lake Michigan in the City of Saint Francis. 68 acres of southern mesic forest with enormous ancient trees, rare ephemeral flowers, migratory birds and other wildlife. Numerous trails crisscross the woods.

The forest is a now rare mix of mature beech, sugar maple, basswood, red and white oak, and some white birch, which tower over an understory of ironwood, musclewood, and witchhazel. Trillium and white and yellow trout lilies bloom in spring on the forest floor, along with hepatica, bloodroot, blue stemmed goldenrod, ferns, and lion’s paw. Deer Creek meanders through the woods; in the lowlands you may see skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, and swamp buttercup.


The high species diversity and canopy maturity along with the low presence of weeds like garlic mustard, buckthorn, and honeysuckle has led the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to identify Seminary Woods as a “Legacy Place” to preserve and protect in the Land Legacy Report.


The woods is on private property, open to the public. Park in the seminary lot. In the center of the woodlot lies a cemetery and grotto honoring Our Lady of Lourdes. Reverence is appropriate.



Story link:  “A Walk in the Woods” by John Gurda.


Gallery (click to enlarge)


3257 S. Lake Dr.
53235, Saint Francis, WI, US