Upper Buckatabon Springs (302/687)

Upper Buckatabon Springs encompasses a variety of wetland habitats including springs, ponds, alder thickets, northern sedge meadow, fen, and tamarack swamp across two parcels in central Vilas County. Access to the western parcel is available directly from CTH K on the south side or 3 Springs Road on the west side.  The eastern parcel appears…

Lost Canoe (280/681)

Lost Canoe includes a nice array of natural communities including northern mesic and dry-mesic forests, fen, and several lakes southwest of Boulder Junction in central Vilas County.  A parking area and trailhead are found on the north side of Nebish Lake Road west of Starrett Road.  A total of 11 miles of trails loop around…

Johnson Lake Barrens & Springs (273/681)

Johnson Lake Barrens & Springs features a large expanse of barrens, lakes, springs, creeks, and sedge meadows in north-central Vilas County.  The site can be reached via several access roads south of CTH B.  I do not recall my route back in 2012, but last year I took High Lake Road south from CTH B…

Papoose Creek Pines (272/681)

Papoose Creek Pines includes dry and dry-mesic forests of red and white pine along a stretch of Papoose Creek in northwestern Vilas County.  The site is located on both sides  of CTH K.  I would recommend parking on Red Feather Road near the southwestern corner of the site or Manitou Park or Clear Lake Roads…

Van Vliet Hemlocks (271/679)

Van Vliet Hemlocks is a newer SNA and features an old-growth hemlock forest with a smattering of bog lakes, fen, kettle depressions, and other wetlands.  The larger of two parcels is found on the east side of Van Vliet and Averill Lakes.  The DNR describes a parking area at the end of East Van Vliet…

Black Tern Bog, SNA #49 (221/675)

Black Tern Bog features a quaking sphagnum bog mat surrounding two seepage lakes, just a stone’s throw from USH 51 in Vilas County.  Park along, but well off of the highway, wand walk east toward the bog and lakes. This was another site in which I was uneasy about where I had to park.  Traffic…

Trout Lake Conifer Swamp, SNA #21 (220/675)

Trout Lake Conifer Swamp is a small, northern wet-mesic forest on a carpet of sphagnum moss found northeast of Woodruff in Vilas County.  It is part of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and can be reached via CTH N to Perch Lane, just northeast of the intersection of CTH M and CTH N. A…

Allequash Lake & Pines, SNA #508 (218/675)

Allequash Lake & Pines encompassees a mostly second-growth northern dry mesic forest surrounding the southern basin of Allequash Lake in Vilas County.  Part of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, this site can be reached by parking at the boat launch at the end of an access road heading east from CTH M.  There are…

Border Lakes, SNA #411 (192/675)

Border Lakes, or the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area as The Nature Conservancy calls it, encompasses 15 undeveloped lakes in northwestern Vilas County.  A parking area is located on East Bay Road, southeast of Presque Isle.  Numerous trails that are more like access roads, loop through the site. As my mother and I pulled into the…

Haymeadow Creek, SNA #479, (188/675)

Haymeadow Creek encompasses nearly 1000 acres within the Chequameon-Nicolet National Forest in eastern Vilas County.  The creek courses through a meadow surrounded by northern wet and dry forested lands.  Access is available from numerous roads including Blong Road, FS 2567, and CTH E.  All except the later are gravel roads and all involve parking on…

Kentuck Lake, SNA #442 (187/675)

Kentuck Lake (note: that spelling is correct; there is no ‘y’ at the end of ‘Kentuck’) encompasses two long, sandy ridges and the swale in between them on the north shore of the lake.  Found within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in far southeastern Vilas County, one can reach the site by heading north from STH…

Aurora Lake, SNA #127 (163/675)

Aurora Lake features, well, Aurora Lake surrounded by a northern wet forest.  The lake is known for its wild rice population.  Access is via a boat launch at the end of Aurora Lake Road. This visit was a rather abbreviated one for a couple of reasons.  One: no kayak with which to explore the lake.  Two:…