LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Donate today: make a difference
Join the community of caretakers
Help preserve Wisconsin's State Natural Areas for future generations. Give to the Endangered Resources Fund today!
Donate today: make a difference
Find
a natural area by name.
Locate
a natural area by county.
Explore outdoors
and find places to go.
Use our interactive map
to find natural areas.
Volunteer
and help care for SNAs.
Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Moose Lake (No. 124)

Moose Lake

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Iron County. T43N-R2E, Sections 2, 3, 10, 11, 14, 22, 23, 26, 27. 4,293 acres

Description

Description

Moose Lake is an exceptional example of a large, undeveloped lake in a wilderness setting. The 270-acre soft water drainage lake has a maximum depth of 12 feet and harbors a diversity of emergent and submergent aquatic plants. It drains into 13-acre Little Moose Lake. The fishery contains mostly northern lake fishes including a reproducing population of muskellunge. While a diversity of wetland communities surround the lake, most of the shoreline is covered by a dense thicket of alder and sweet gale; the remainder is predominantly lowland conifer and hardwoods dominated by black spruce, white cedar, and black ash. The upland forest surrounding the lake has pockets of higher rocky terrain dominated by sugar maple, basswood, paper birch, and balsam fir. Sedge hummocks and alder mark the two small inlet streams and the site also harbors pockets of old-growth hemlock, especially to the south. The high canopy, mature timber, and numerous decomposing logs on the forest floor give this site a magnificent virgin appearance. Dominant trees are hemlock and yellow birch, some more than 2 feet in diameter at breast height. White spruce, white cedar, balsam fir, sugar maple, and red maple are found occasionally and the groundlayer species composition is representative of northern boreal forest. Some dead standing hemlock and yellow birch accentuate the unmanaged appearance. Hemlock is reproducing as evidenced by seedlings and saplings. Large numbers of wildlife including black bear, hooded merganser, and blue-winged teal use the area. Breeding birds include bald eagle and common loon. Moose Lake is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1992.

Access

Driving directions

For boat access, from the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway J in Mercer, go north on 51 6.6 miles, then west on Moose Lake Road 2.8 miles, then north on Kaiser Road 0.4 miles, then west on Moose Lake Access Road to a boat ramp. Boat upstream 0.2 miles to the lake. To access Little Moose Lake, continue 0.3 mile west to another boat ramp. For land access, from the junction of Moose Lake Road and Kaiser Road, go north on Kaiser Road 0.8 mile, then west at the fork on an access road 0.2 miles to a gate. Walk west into the site. For the southern portion, from the junction of Moose Lake and Kaiser Roads, go west on Moose Lake Road 0.4 mile to Moose Creek. Park along the road. The site lies west of the creek. The best old-growth forest is in the SE¼SW¼ of Section 11.

Ownership

Moose Lake 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 northern mesic/wet-mesic/wet forest reserve, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection site, as a rare animal protection site, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native northern forests and lake ecosystems.

Management approach

The native dominant tree species are managed passively, and will develop more old-growth characteristics over time. Other allowable activities include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Although removal of hazardous trees from over and near the boat launch access road is an allowed activity, manipulation/removal of vegetation and soil disturbance should be minimized to the extent possible.

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]

Back to Top

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017