Fourmile Island Rookery (331/693)

Fourmile Island Rookery State Natural Area protects a forested isle in the of bottomland hardwoods historically used by nesting birds. Though nesting habitat availability has suffered in recent years due to a variety of factors (Dutch elm disease, a 1984 windstorm, and the effects of accumulated guano), the island remains a protected bird sanctuary that…

Baraboo River Floodplain Forest (330/693)

Baraboo River Floodplain Forest State Natural Area encompasses a millieux of lowland forest, sloughs, oxbows, streams, and the eponymous Baraboo River covering 23 acres adjacent to Interstate 90/94 in Columbia County. Owned by the Wisconsin DNR, access is only possible by water. As I had rented a kayak for the day, I planned to make…

Blackhawk Island (329/693)

Blackhawk Island State Natural Area protects an island in the Wisconsin River that is wooded with a variety of tree species and a plethora of ferns. Owned by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and managed by the UW Division of Extension, the site is operated as an outdoor learning center and self-described “river…

Sapa Spruce Bog (328/693)

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…

Jackson Marsh (327/693)

Jackson Marsh State Natural Area protects a southern wet forest with silver maples and a white cedar-tamarack swamp. The site is part of the larger Jackson Marsh State Wildlife Area, a 2,600 acre tract of forested wetlands in east-central Washington County. The large size and lack of formal trails make this not a particularly easy…

Krueger Pines (326/693)

Krueger Pines State Natural Area protects a mature northern dry-mesic forest with large red and white pines. The site is located within Council Grounds State Park, just northwest of Merrill across the Wisconsin River. The single parcel is bounded on the east by the park road, along which is a convenient parking area. The Blue…

Enterprise Hemlocks (325/693)

Enterprise Hemlocks State Natural Area protects a mature mesic forest, predominantly composed of hemlocks and associated ephemeral ponds and boggy areas. The site is located south of Rhinelander in the southeast portion of Oneida County. There are 3 parcels, the northernmost of which can be accessed from Zimmer Rd, west of CTH G, and two…

Spur Lake (324/693)

*experimenting with post format; bear with me* Spur Lake State Natural Area contains the eponymous lake as well as surrounding wetlands, including open bog, alder thicket, and a mixed swamp containing black spruce, white cedar, and tamarack. Located southeast of Three Lakes, the site can be easily accessed from Stella Lake Rd, west of USH…

Rice Lake (323/693)

*experimenting with post format; bear with me* Rice Lake State Natural Area contains the eponymous lake as well as surrounding wetland, sedge meadow, poor fen, and upland islands found within Thunder Lake State Wildlife Area in northeastern Oneida County, just south of Eagle River. The site can be easily accessed from a couple of Wildlife…

Karcher Springs (322/693)

*experimenting with post format; bear with me* Karcher Springs contains wetland and upland natural communities in southern Kenosha County. Located within Karcher State Wildlife Area, the SNA can be easily accessed from a Wildlife Area parking lot on the north side of CTH JB/31st St just west of STH 83. The west side of the…

New Munster Bog Island (321/693)

New Munster Bog Island State Natural Area contains a small hill, or knoll, surrounded by shrub-carr and tamaracks in southern Kenosha County.  I found the DNR prescribed access to be fairly straightforward.  From a State Wildlife Area parking area on the north side of 75th St, a rudimentary path leads to Palmer Creek.  I recall…

Peat Lake (320/693)

Peat Lake State Natural Area is headlined by its 42-acre namesake lake.  Haboring mainly non-native carp, the lake is not known for it fishery and is not particularly accessible for those purposes.  Such access is somewhat precluded by the extensive surrounding wetlands, composed of sedge meadow and cattail marsh. Located on the WI-IL border and…

Silver Lake Bog (319/693)

Silver Lake Bog contains a bog and northern wet forest situated in the far southeastern corner of the state in Kenosha County.  The site is owned by the Silver Lake Sportsmans Club and permission is required before visiting. The description of “open bog” refers to having <10% tree cover, per the WDNR's description of this…

Hog Island Tamaracks (317/693)

Hog Island Tamaracks is much as it sounds, islands of tamaracks within a sea of wetlands, minus the hogs, of course.  This Wood County-owned natural area consists of three parcels arranged in a loose N-S line in southwestern Wood and northwestern Juneau Counties.  Though the DNR website does not note this, the western portion of…

Deer Island (315/689)

Deer Island in the Jackson County Forest contains the rare maple swamp natural community.  It is located amidst sandy, backcountry roads and cranberry bogs more or less right along Deer Island Rd south of City Point. My friend and I continued our tour of Jackson County SNA’s with a stop at 2 of the 4…