Franconia Bluffs SNA

               
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Area and County

Chisago County

 

 

 


Size

85 acres

Printable map
 
Maps

Printable Map with GPS coordinates

 
Parking

East Unit
N45 22.353, W92 42.291

West Unit
N45 22.016, W92 42.740

 
Hiking Trails

No maintained trails

 
Hunting

All hunting. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.


Ecological Classification

Province

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province

Ecological Classification

Section

Western Superior Uplands

Subsection(s)

Mille Lacs Uplands
St. Paul-Baldwin Plains

Land Type Association(s)

Almelund Moraine

Chisago Moraine

Stillwater Alluvial Plain

 
Native Plant Communities1

Oak - (Red Maple) Woodland

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest


Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        
 
Links

Minnesota DNR

The Trust for Public Land


Comments

Parking
To access the west unit, park on the pull-off on the east side of Highway 95 at the location above. To access the east unit turn east on the gravel road by the wood SNA sign. After 50 yards the road forks, becoming two private driveways. Between the two driveways is a two track road leading 80 yards to a small parking area and a gate. From the gate walk east on the two-track road to a large clearing.

Management
This site was first designated a Scientific and Natural Area in June, 2008.

On October 1, 2011, volunteers with Great River Greening planted acorns on a cleared, 10-acre plot on the bluff top at the east unit. They also planted oak seedlings in a 1-acre section at the south end of the plot. The goal of the project is to expand the the oak bluffland forest to the 10-acre plot.

In 2012, a high tensile wire deer fence was constructed around the oak woodland restoration. Red pines in the plantation at the west unit were marked for removal.

Future management plans include “cutting and spot-spraying exotic invasive woody and herbaceous species and the first phase of removal of pine-spruce plantations and associated erosion control on the bluff-tops prior to restoration of native forest.”

Mosquitos
The ravines are steep sided and shielded from the slightest breeze even on windy days. DEET is a must.

Challenging Ravine
The ravine directly east of the parking area at the west unit is challenging. It begins as a garbage dump, apparently used for decades, then transitions into a dense prickly ash thicket that is almost impassible. Those who attempt it will come away with a few bloody scratches to help them remember the experience.


Visits

2/22/2011

9/5/2011

  7/6/2013

 

 

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East Unit

Parking

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       

Wood Routed Sign

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       

Deer Enclosure

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       
  Franconia Bluffs SNA    
       

Oak - (Red Maple) Woodland

  Franconia Bluffs SNA    
       

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       
  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA

West Unit

Parking

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       
  Franconia Bluffs SNA    
       

Pine Plantation

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       
  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest

  Franconia Bluffs SNA   Franconia Bluffs SNA
       
  Franconia Bluffs SNA    
       
       

 

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Observations

   

Birds

One tracked bird species has been seen here:

 

Tracked

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

 
 

Minnesota DNR Bird checklist

 
 

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal

Song Sparrow


Fungi and Lichens

Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)

Crown Rust


Insects and Arachnids

American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

common whitetail (Plathemis lydia)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina)

leaf miner fly (Liriomyza eupatoriella)

Leconte’s haploa (Haploa lecontei)

maple spindle-gall mite (Vasates aceriscrumena)

mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

tawny crescent (Phyciodes batesii)

twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

white admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)

widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

male common whitetail

great spangled fritillary

Leconte’s haploa

widow skimmer


Mammals

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

whitetail deer


Plants

Plants frequently found in:

Oak - (Red Maple) Woodland FDs37a

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest MHs38c

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest MHs37b

 
 

 

alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)

American elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American hazel (Corylus americana)

American hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata)

American lopseed (Phryma leptostachya)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

American spikenard (Aralia racemosa ssp. racemosa)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)

annual fleabane (Erigeron annuus)

asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Balkan catchfly (Silene csereii)

bigleaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)

bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus)

bishop’s cap (Mitella diphylla)

bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis)

black bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

blue vervain (Verbena hastata var. scabra)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canadian clearweed (Pilea pumila)

Canadian honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common speedwell (Veronica officinalis)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

cut-leaved coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata)

drooping trillium (Trillium flexipes)

early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

elliptic shin-leaf (Pyrola elliptica)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

giant foxtail (Setaria faberi)

giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida var. trifida)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

hairy Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum pubescens)

harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)

ironwood (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum)

Maryland black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica)

Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern blue flag (Iris versicolor)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum)

northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca)

ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

Parlin’s pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum)

prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)

prairie peppergrass (Lepidium densiflorum var. densiflorum)

purple-stem angelica (Angelica atropurpurea)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

rattlesnake fern (Botrypus virginianus)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

red pine (Pinus resinosa)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rough cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)

rough-fruited cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris)

scouring rush horsetail (Equisetum hyemale var. affine)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba)

shining bedstraw (Galium concinnum)

skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)

spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)

spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

timothy (Phleum pratense)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

white avens (Geum canadense)

white baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

white oak (Quercus alba)

white rattlesnake root (Nabalus albus)

white snakeroot (Ageratina altissima var. altissima)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

yellow goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

 

Acer ginnala (Amur maple)

Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry)

Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Ageratina altissima var. altissima (white snakeroot)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Ambrosia trifida var. trifida (giant ragweed)

Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata (American hog peanut)

Anemone acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Angelica atropurpurea (purple-stem angelica)

Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax (Parlin’s pussytoes)

Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)

Aralia racemosa ssp. racemosa (American spikenard)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)

Asarum canadense (wild ginger)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)

Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum (northern lady fern)

Barbarea vulgaris (winter cress)

Berteroa incana (hoary alyssum)

Botrypus virginianus (rattlesnake fern)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)

Carduus nutans (musk thistle)

Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)

Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazel)

Cryptotaenia canadensis (Canadian honewort)

Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Equisetum hyemale var. affine (scouring rush horsetail)

Erigeron annuus (annual fleabane)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Erigeron strigosus (prairie fleabane)

Eurybia macrophylla (bigleaf aster)

Fallopia convolvulus (black bindweed)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium concinnum (shining bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)

Hemerocallis fulva (orange daylily)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Impatiens capensis (spotted touch-me-not)

Iris versicolor (northern blue flag)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca (common motherwort)

Lepidium densiflorum var. densiflorum (prairie peppergrass)

Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s honeysuckle)

Lotus corniculatus var. corniculatus (bird’s-foot trefoil)

Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Matricaria discoidea (pineapple-weed)

Matteuccia struthiopteris var. pensylvanica (ostrich fern)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Mitella diphylla (bishop’s cap)

Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake root)

Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (ironwood)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Phleum pratense (timothy)

Phryma leptostachya (American lopseed)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Pilea pumila (Canadian clearweed)

Pilosella aurantiaca (orange hawkweed)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Pinus sylvestris (Scotch pine)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Polygonatum pubescens (hairy Solomon’s seal)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil)

Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)

Pyrola elliptica (elliptic shin-leaf)

Quercus alba (white oak)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia laciniata var. laciniata (cut-leaved coneflower)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (American elderberry)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (red elderberry)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Sanicula marilandica (Maryland black snakeroot)

Setaria faberi (giant foxtail)

Silene csereii (Balkan catchfly)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Solidago flexicaulis (zigzag goldenrod)

Symphyotrichum ciliolatum (Lindley’s aster)

Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)

Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Tragopogon dubius (yellow goat’s beard)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Trillium flexipes (drooping trillium)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Verbena hastata var. scabra (blue vervain)

Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

alsike clover

American elderberry

American hog peanut (var. bracteata)

American vetch (var. americana)

annual fleabane

black bindweed

black raspberry

black-eyed Susan

blue cohosh

bur oak (var. macrocarpa)

common blue violet

common evening primrose

common false Solomon’s seal

common mullein

common yarrow

drooping trillium

giant foxtail

ground ivy

large-flowered bellwort

Morrow’s honeysuckle

musk thistle

orange daylily

orange hawkweed

pineapple-weed

red clover

red elderberry

rough cinquefoil

sharp-lobed hepatica

spotted touch-me-not

upright carrionflower

Virginia waterleaf

white baneberry

white clover

wild columbine

wild geranium

wild parsnip

woodland strawberry

yellow sweet clover

 


Reptiles

One reptile species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

 

Threatened

wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta)


 

 

Binoculars

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