In 1998, the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust purchased Kelly Creek, a special tributary of the upper Kinnickinnic River. This cold, clean feeder stream with wild native brook trout is an important spawning area and includes many springs plus important wetlands as well as remnants of native plant communities. Kelly Creek rises from springs under a picturesque limestone outcropping, and is free flowing the short length to where it meets the main branch of the Kinnickinnic River near County Road J, in the Town of Kinnickinnic. Pumping out more than 700,000 gallons of water per day, Kelly Creek spring helps sustain the cool temperatures vital for naturally reproducing Brown and Brook Trout. At 8,000 trout per mile, the Kinni is among the finest trout streams in the Midwest.
The 70 acre “Kelly Creek Preserve” has been restored to native prairie and oak savanna. The Preserve is open to the public and has been used by local educators and groups as an educational site to learn more about the Kinni and its watershed.
The Preserve is located on County Road J in the Town of Kinnickinnic, St. Croix County. Access is from a shared private drive off of CTH J, approximately 1/4 mile east of the bridge over the Kinnickinnic River.