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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Wheeler Lake (No. 456)

Wheeler Lake

Photo by U.S. Forest Service


Overview

Location

Within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Florence County. T38N-R16E, Sections 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 17. 769 acres.

Description

Description

Wheeler Lake contains a wetland complex with several scattered stands of older growth hemlock and fire origin red pine. The site is remote, poorly roaded, and adjacent to the Goodman tract. The pine is found on upland islands and peninsulas on the western end of the site. Scattered throughout are upland white cedar and black spruce with an occasional large diameter white spruce. Wheeler Lake is a shallow bog lake and contains a black tern colony, common loons, and gray jays. The higher quality stands of northern dry and dry-mesic forest are fire origin red pine. The oldest trees appear to be about 85 years old with the stand records indicating origin dates of 1920, 1922, 1929, and 1937. The understory is generally open with scattered bracken fern, bunchberry, spinulose wood fern, and wild sarsaparilla. There is little to no pine regeneration. Trembling aspen dominates sites with a more recent history of clear cutting. Hemlock and older-growth hardwoods including sugar maple and yellow birch dominate the northern mesic forest. Other communities include open bog dominated by sphagnum, leather-leaf, American woolly-fruit sedge, and few-seeded sedge; alder thicket; and northern sedge meadow dominated by tussock sedge and bluejoint grass. Wheeler Lake is a 44-acre shallow, medium hard-water drained lake surrounded by wetlands grading from open bog to emergent aquatic to northern wet forest. Bird life includes a black tern colony, common loon, and gray jay. Common plant species within and surrounding the lake include white water-lily, yellow water-lily, broad-leaved cat-tail, spotted joe-pye weed, northern blue flag iris, bladderworts, and pondweeds. Wheeler Lake is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of FR 2156 and Highway 139 in Long Lake, go south on 139 3.4 miles, then east on FR 2161 approximately 8.6 miles, then north on 2872 about 2.2 miles into the site.

Ownership

Wheeler Lake is owned by:

  • US Forest Service

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.

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.

Non-DNR lands

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the "Resource links" heading above. More details regarding allowable uses of this non-DNR owned SNA may be posted, if available, under the "Access" tab above.

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Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.

Last revised: Friday, December 15, 2017