About Us

About Us

Black Earth Campus

Black Earth Campus
Nestled in a quiet valley, the Black Earth Campus provides a true wilderness experience and features 38 acres of rugged unglaciated terrain for hiking and in-depth environmental study. Here, visitors can explore challenging topography, mature woods, and rocky outcroppings, in addition to two indoor educational facilities for special seasonal programs, overnight programs or private rentals.


The Black Earth Campus is only open to the public for
public programs, overnights, rentals and private events.

Black Earth Indoor Facilities:

Black Earth Campus Alexander StudioThe Alexander Studio is the ideal space for a quick orientation to the site, educational programs, meetings and workshops. The building features instructional and meeting spaces, cathedral ceilings, circular performance platform, and outdoor deck. Additionally, a built-in stage lighting system is available.



WinterThe Leopold Lodge is a three-story log cabin with a wrap around porch, meeting space and sleeping quarters. The lodge features a two-story stone fireplace and rustic furnishings, as well as a full kitchen, basement with bunk beds, 3 bathrooms, and easy access to beautiful hiking trails and paths.  It is the ideal spot for educational programs, meetings, and retreats.



Black Earth Trails & Terrain
Black Earth Campus Trails & Terrain

The Black Earth Campus, with its more challenging topography, mature woods, and rocky outcroppings, provides complementary experiences for maturing “knee-high naturalists” and is an outdoor learning laboratory for more challenging exploration by middle school, high school, and other students.

The Black Earth terrain is marked by steep hills and rocky, wooded land surrounding a grass valley. A council ring and fire pit are located in the heart of the valley.


Black Earth Campus Trails & Terrain


Trails lead visitors around the valley and up the hillside to remnant prairie patches and outlooks. Wear sturdy shoes for hiking, and be sure to dress for the weather!

Land projects include: the creation of a prairie plot on a former corn field, the restoration of an oak savannah in the valley; and other native planting projects. Volunteers for these ongoing projects are always welcome!



The Black Earth Campus is only open to the public for public programs, overnights, rentals and private events. If you are interested in touring the Black Earth location, thinking it may be the perfect location for your next event, please email our Event & Rental Manager at rentals@naturenet.com.


Black Earth Campus
10648 Sutcliffe Rd.
Black Earth 53515

  1. From the beltline (Hwys 12 & 18), exit Hwy. 14 (west) at University Avenue to Black Earth (through Cross Plains).
  2. Turn left (south) at The Shoe Box in Black Earth (this is 78/Cty F – also called Mills Street).
  3. Follow 78/Cty F about a half-mile through town, and turn right (west) on F/KP (also called Madison Street).
  4. Travel about a mile to Cty F. Turn left (south) on Cty F and follow to Sutcliffe Road (it will be the second road on your right.) Turn onto Sutcliffe Rd and follow it (west) for just under 1.5 miles.
  5. The driveway to ALNC-Black Earth is about halfway down the hill, on the right hand (north) side. The fire number is 10648 Sutcliffe Road.
  6. Distance from ALNC in Monona is approx. 30 miles. It takes about 20 minutes from the west beltline to the site.