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Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Fox Maple Woods (No. 282)

Fox Maple Woods

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Florence County. T40N-R16E, Section 26 NW¼SW¼. 41 acres.

Description

Description

Fox Maple Woods features an outstanding example of undisturbed northern mesic forest located within a larger forested landscape and surrounded on three sides by the Whisker Lake Wilderness Area. Canopy dominants include old-growth sugar maple, basswood, hemlock, and yellow birch with white pines sparsely distributed throughout the stand. Scattered white cedar and Canada yew are also present. While the understory is quite open and shows no sign of past disturbance such as grazing, heavy deer browse has been noted. The shrub layer is minimal but the herbaceous flora is rich and diverse with abundant spring ephemerals such as Carolina spring-beauty, yellow dog-tooth violet, Dutchman’s-breeches and other herbs including blue cohosh, nodding trillium, rosy twisted-stalk, and bloodroot. The rare Assiniboine sedge (Carex assiniboinensis) also occurs here. A small 5-acre kettle depression in the center of the area supports a sedge meadow and provides an aesthetic opening in the dark mesic woods. Although half of the site has a past history of dead timber harvest, the quality of the undisturbed portion is exceptional. This is one of the very few bona fide old-growth mesic forest fragments with a rich ephemeral flora and its protection will help prevent future disturbance. Fox Maple Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1995.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highways 2/141 and State Highway 70 in Florence, go west on Highway 70 10.5 miles to a parking area north of the road. (This is 1.1 miles west of the point where 70 crosses Wakefield Creek).

Ownership

Fox Maple Woods is owned by:

  • WDNR

Maps

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.

Objectives

Site objectives

Manage the site as an old-growth northern mesic forest reserve and ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest.

Management approach

The native species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the site. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Recreation

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Allowable activities

In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
  • Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

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Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017