This area encompasses the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and Wildcat Mountain State Park. It contains the most intact forestland, outside floodplains, in the whole driftless portion of the state. Topography is steep, featuring rocky slopes covered in oak-hickory forest, with more maples and basswoods on the north-facing slopes. Northern species such as white pine and hemlock are found in ravines and on cliffs scattered throughout. Smaller areas of oak savanna and cool-season grasses also are present.
The site supports a rich breeding avifauna, including such species as Acadian flycatcher, wood thrush, cerulean warbler, worm-eating warbler, and Louisiana waterthrush. Thousands of landbirds migrate through in both fall and spring, and about twenty-five percent of the state’s over-wintering population of golden eagles is found here.