Rushford Sand Barrens SNA


Area and County

    Fillmore County
    Southeast Minnesota

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230 acres


 Printable Maps with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

N43 47.669, W91 48.447

Hiking Trails

A footpath leads to the top of the first ridge.


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

Ecological Classification Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification

Paleozoic Plateau


The Blufflands

Land Type Association(s)

Alluvial Plain

Altura Ridgetops

Elba Slopes

Native Plant Communities1

Black Oak - White Oak Woodland (Sand)

Dry Barrens Oak Savanna (Southern): Oak Subtype

Dry Barrens Prairie (Southern)

Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie (Southern)

Jack Pine - Oak Woodland (Sand)

Oak - Shagbark Hickory Woodland

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

Red Oak - White Oak - (Sugar Maple) Forest

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Minnesota DNR


This site lies within the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest.

Hard to Find
In 2010, the wood routed SNA sign was completely obscured by tall shrubs. Look for a field access (crossing the roadside ditch) on the east side of the road just south of the Root River bridge. It is in front of a long row of shrubbery and trees separating two crop fields.








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  Rushford Sand Barrens SNA   Rushford Sand Barrens SNA
  Rushford Sand Barrens SNA    

Wood Routed Sign

  Rushford Sand Barrens SNA   Rushford Sand Barrens SNA
  The wood routed sign was not visible from the road in 2008 (left) or 2010 (right).

Dry Barrens Oak Savanna (Southern): Oak Subtype

  Rushford Sand Barrens SNA   Rushford Sand Barrens SNA



  Rushford Sand Barrens Scientific and Natural Area
  Rushford Sand Barrens Scientific and Natural Area  



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eBird Field Checklist


American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

Fungi and Lichens

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Stalked Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha occidentalis)

Stalked Scarlet Cup
Insects and Arachnids

Canadian cicada (Okanagana canescens)

common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata)

gorgone checkerspot (Chlosyne gorgone)

great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

harvestman (Leiobunum spp.)

Leconte’s haploa (Haploa lecontei)

little wood satyr (Megisto cymela)

northern pearly eye (Lethe anthedon)

great spangled fritillary

little wood satyr


American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)

American red squirrel

Northern prickly ash is abundant throughout the site, in some places forming impenetrable thickets.


Eight plant species with conservation status in Minnesota and two species on the watch list are found here:



smooth forked nail-wort (Paronychia canadensis)



American witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis)

rough-seeded fameflower (Talinum rugospermum)

seaside three-awn (Aristida tuberculosa)


Special concern

Canada frostweed (Crocanthemum canadense)

Canada toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis)

goat’s rue (Tephrosia virginiana)


Watch list

jeweled shooting star (Primula fassettii)

long-bearded hawkweed (Hieracium longipilum)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Black Oak - White Oak Woodland (Sand) FDs27c

Dry Barrens Oak Savanna (Southern): Oak Subtype UPs14a2

Dry Barrens Prairie (Southern) UPs13a

Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie (Southern) UPs13c

Jack Pine - Oak Woodland (Sand) FDs27a

Oak - Shagbark Hickory Woodland FDs38a

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

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



Allegheny blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American cow parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum)

American hazel (Corylus americana)

American hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata)

American witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

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

bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

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)

boxelder (Acer negundo)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canadian honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common burdock (Arctium minus)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

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

common juniper (Juniperus communis var. depressa)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca)

common mullein (Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

downy phlox (Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida)

downy rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens)

early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida var. trifida)

goat’s rue (Tephrosia virginiana)

gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

hairy puccoon (Lithospermum caroliniense var. croceum)

harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

hooked buttercup (Ranunculus recurvatus var. recurvatus)

interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana)

ironwood (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

late horse-gentian (Triosteum perfoliatum)

leadplant (Amorpha canescens)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

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)

northern shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)

pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

palespike lobelia (Lobelia spicata var. spicata)

paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera)

plantain-leaved pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)

pointed-leaved tick-trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum)

prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata)

purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea var. purpurea)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red baneberry (Actaea rubra ssp. rubra)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

rough-fruited cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

round-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana)

sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba)

shining bedstraw (Galium concinnum)

silky dogwood (Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua)

smooth brome (Bromus inermis)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis var. perennis)

tall boneset (Eupatorium altissimum)

tall thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

timothy (Phleum pratense)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

western blue virgin’s bower (Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis)

western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum)

western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya)

white campion (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)

white clover (Trifolium repens)

white oak (Quercus alba)

white sage (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana)

wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum var. andinum)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)

woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca ssp. americana)

yellow goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius)

yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)


Acer negundo (boxelder)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry)

Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Ambrosia psilostachya (western ragweed)

Ambrosia trifida var. trifida (giant ragweed)

Amorpha canescens (leadplant)

Amphicarpaea bracteata (American hog peanut)

Anemone acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica)

Anemone americana (round-lobed hepatica)

Anemone virginiana (tall thimbleweed)

Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Arctium minus (common burdock)

Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)

Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. ludoviciana (white sage)

Asarum canadense (wild ginger)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

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

Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera (paper birch)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)

Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)

Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)

Carya ovata (northern shagbark hickory)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (western blue virgin’s bower)

Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed)

Coreopsis palmata (prairie coreopsis)

Cornus alternifolia (pagoda dogwood)

Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua (silky dogwood)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Corylus americana (American hazel)

Cryptotaenia canadensis (Canadian honewort)

Dalea purpurea var. purpurea (purple prairie clover)

Desmodium glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil)

Enemion biternatum (eastern false rue anemone)

Eupatorium altissimum (tall boneset)

Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge)

Fragaria vesca ssp. americana (woodland strawberry)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Galium concinnum (shining bedstraw)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Goodyera pubescens (downy rattlesnake plantain)

Hamamelis virginiana (American witchhazel)

Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum (American cow parsnip)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca (common motherwort)

Lilium philadelphicum var. andinum (wood lily)

Lithospermum caroliniense var. croceum (hairy puccoon)

Lobelia spicata var. spicata (palespike lobelia)

Lonicera tatarica (Tartarian honeysuckle)

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

Lupinus perennis var. perennis (sundial lupine)

Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)

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

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (ironwood)

Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)

Phleum pratense (timothy)

Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida (downy phlox)

Pinus banksiana (jack pine)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum (western bracken fern)

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 recurvatus var. recurvatus (hooked buttercup)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rubus allegheniensis (Allegheny blackberry)

Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Silene latifolia ssp. alba (white campion)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Tephrosia virginiana (goat’s rue)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Toxicodendron rydbergii (western poison ivy)

Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio spiderwort)

Tragopogon dubius (yellow goat’s beard)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens (white clover)

Triosteum perfoliatum (late horse-gentian)

Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis (stinging nettle)

Verbascum thapsus ssp. thapsus (common mullein)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

American hazel

black cherry

black raspberry

black-eyed susan

bur oak (var. macrocarpa)

Canadian woodnettle

common false Solomon’s seal

common juniper

common mullein

common yarrow

downy phlox

eastern false rue anemone

hairy puccoon

interrupted fern


northern bedstraw

palespike lobelia (var. spicata)

prairie coreopsis

purple prairie clover

red baneberry

rough-fruited cinquefoil

sharp-lobed hepatica

sundial lupine

Tartarian honeysuckle

western poison ivy

wild bergamot

wild columbine

wild geranium

wood lily

yellow wood sorrel




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