Nipissing Swamp (309/687)

Nipissing Swamp is a remnant from the time of the glaciers when a sandbar blocked the outlet of Glacial Lake Nipissing and turned the area into a lagoon.  Today, a northern hardwood swamp and sand dunes persist.  Found within the boundaries of Point Beach State Forest, the area can be accessed from the northeast by…

Castle Mound Pine Forest (294/681)

Castle Mound Pine Forest is a forested butte rising nearly 200 feet above the surrounding landscape.  Found within the Black River State Forest, access is easy from the Castle Mound Campground unit of the forest on USH 12 south of Black River Falls.  Park in the picnic parking area. Trails wind up and around the…

Catfish Eddy Terraces (293/681)

Catfish Eddy Terraces is comprised of northern dry-mesic forest and various gorges and wet terrain along the eastern bank of the Black River in Jackson County.  There are no trails or parking areas here, so I found it easiest to park along Clinton Road and walk approximately 1/3 mile west into the natural area. After…

Upper Black River (290/681)

Upper Black River features a variety of natural communities along stretches of the Black River and a few of its tributaries.  Floodplain forest, mesic forest, and dripping cliffs line these waterways.  As one would expect with a property this large containing several parcels, there are numerous ways to access it.  A DNR parking area and…

East Fork of the Black River (289/681)

East Fork of the Black River features one of the longest stretches of undeveloped river in the state and a ridge and swale complex with alternating bands of northern dry-mesic forest and a variety of wetlands.  This site is directly adjacent to yesterday’s blog post, Arbutus Oaks, and the same parking area at the end…

Arbutus Oaks (288/681)

Arbutus Oaks features a southern dry-mesic forest with stately oaks and white pine as well as a swamp on the border of southern Clark County and northern Jackson County within the Black River State Forest.  Campground Road leads to a large parking area near Lake Arbutus with Arbutus Oaks SNA to the west and the…

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…

Point Beach Ridges (256/679)

Point Beach Ridges encompasses a series of 11 ridges and swales representing former shorelines of the Nippissing Great Lakes, a term for Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron which were all connected after the glaciers receeded but with much higher water levels than at present.  A small pull-off is located on the east side of CTH…

Kettle Moraine Red Oaks (251/679)

Kettle Moraine Red Oaks features a southern dry-mesic forest with a significant red oak component on rolling topography in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest (KMSFN).  This natural area is one of 11 found in the KMSFN and one of 18 total in the KMSF.  I reached the site by parking on…