Bromley Woods

Bromley Woods is a 40-acre parcel that is an excellent example of a Kettle Moraine landscape, containing a 10-acre kettle pond and 30 acres of oak forest and savanna. The property is in a DNR Conservation Opportunity Area of global importance to migrating forest interior birds, including several warbler species with declining populations. It was purchased by the Geneva Lake Conservancy in 2019 with funds from the Wisconsin DNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program, Pheasants Forever and more than 25 private donors.

The Bromley family immigrated from England in 1837 and began homesteading their farm here on January 6, 1844. At that time, Wisconsin was still just a territory of the United States. Native Americans periodically camped on the savanna until about 1900. Six generations of the Bromley family skated on the kettle pond, hiked the forest and held picnics in the oak savanna. Since the 1950s, the savanna has been the site of the annual LaGrange 4th of July community picnic and baseball game.

The property adjoins the Kettle Moraine State Forest on the east and north sides. The property’s ridges and kettles are traversed by walking trails. The bottom of the deepest kettle is more than 90 feet lower than the entrance to the property. That kettle features a pond which exists because the kettle’s bottom lies below the local water table. The pond provides habitat for turtles, frogs, and a family of beavers, as well as newts, an indicator of species of an ecologically healthy environment. The upland portion of the forest is an 8-acre oak savanna. Bur and White Oak, Hickory, and other hardwood trees are scattered across an open grassland. Less than 2 percent of oak savanna communities remain intact in the Midwest and these oak savannas are a critically imperiled ecosystem globally.

 

Rules of General Use

  1. Bromley Woods is open for hiking, cross-country skiing, hunting and trapping.
  2. The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset.
  3. Camping, fires and alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
  4. ATVs and other motorized vehicles are prohibited.
  5. Target shooting is not allowed.
  6. Hunters may not hunt within 300 feet of a building or 50 feet of a property line.
  7. Do not trespass on the neighboring properties.
  8. Tree stands and blinds may be used by hunters but not left overnight. No nails, screws or other devices that damage trees may be used, and tree limbs may not be cut.

All Wisconsin DNR hunting and trapping regulations apply.

 

For more information on this preserve, contact the Geneva Lake Conservancy at 262-275-5700 or glc@genevalakeconservancy.org.

Click here for a printable pdf of the Bromley Woods history and rules.

Click here for a printable pdf of the Bromley Woods map.