Spring Lake State Natural Area contains a seepage lake ringed by a northern wet forest with areas of calcareous fen and shrubs as well. Located just west of the Mauthe Lake State Recreation Area, this 37-acre site is located within the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, just west of the town of Dundee. This is not a natural area that is particularly easy or necessarily the most exciting to explore, but with many great sites to visit in the area, it is not an out of the way excursion for me.
Having visited SNAs thousands of times, this happens to be one of those that I don’t particularly recall the process of getting there. The DNR describes taking East Lake Rd off of CTH G with the note to describe any ‘Private Road’ signs and subsequently, to walk south of the road into the SNA.
Northern mesic forest rings the outer portions of this natural area slowly grading into an open wetland. The degree to which one can easily traverse this wetland area will depend on water level and footwear choice. Based on my first visit here, I would chest waders. Hip waders may be okay, but could result in a lot of splashback. Unfortunately, on this day, I only had rubber boots available and thus, did not explore as much as I would have liked.
The lake itself is not particularly overtly remarkable to the non-limnologist with its glittering characterisitcs of 10 accres, a 2-foot maximum depth, and a 99% muck bottom, but I always feel that there is a way to find beauty in any lake. With all of this said, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to head back to this area of the state, with numerous SNAs, the Northern Kettle Moraine, lakes, and so much natural beauty.
In this close-up map of the central portion of the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine Forest (green shading), the purple stars denote SNAs, with Spring Lake toward the bottom left/southwest.
I would like to revisit this site for several reasons: a more in-depth visit, more appropriate footwear, and at a more botanically interesting time of year. I would rate this a 7.5/10 on my random revisit scale.
Additional photos can be found on Flickr.
|County||Fond du Lac|
|Natural Communities / Geology||Lake, Northern Mesic Forest|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Located Within||Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit|