Sapa Spruce Bog State Natural Area encompasses a black spruce-tamarack bog in west-central Ozaukee County. Owned by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and managed by the UW-Milwaukee Field Station, the site represents the southernmost black spruce bog in Wisconsin. Though relatively small for an SNA at only 24 acres, Sapa Spruce Bog packs a punch into a relatively tiny space. Please note that this site requires permission from the UWM Field Station prior to accessing it.
This SNA is a standalone, non-DNR owned SNA, making it somewhat rare, as most are either embedded within a large public land space, such as a State Wildlife Area, and/or are owned by the DNR itself. Located just north of Cedarburg Beech Woods SNA and just west of Cedarburg Bog SNA, Sapa Spruce Bog is more acidic than its bog neighbor and, accordingly, hosts several plant species not present there.
With no formal trails nor parking available, this site often escapes notice. The northern portion of the SNA becomes a wet forest before slowly grading into the black spruce-tamarack bog. Water levels can vary, of course, but standard rubber boots should suffice most of the time. Visually, this bog lacks an open canopy, but rewards with ample deadfall and interspersed ferns. It truly is an emerald wonderland. Though requiring permission to visit, I didn’t have any issues with that when I emailed the UWM Field Station and explained my SNA project. A full day can be made of visits to Sapa Spruce Bog, Cedarburg Beech Woods (also requires permission), and the spectacular and large Cedarburg Bog.
My visits here have been in early September, at which time I did not go as deep into the bog, and in early June, which was a nice to to catch several flowering species including Cypripedium acaule, Calla palustris, and Maianthemum canadense. I would like to return in late August and explore the bog further, as well as perhaps a mid-May visit to catch additional species in bloom.
Additional photos can be found on Flickr.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Black Spruce-Tamarack Swamp|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Recommended Footwear||Rubber Boots|
|Ownership||UW Board of Regents (More Info)|
|Date(s) Visited||9.8.13, 6.4.17|