- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Kewaskum Maple-Oak Woods (No. 135)
Within the Northern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest, Washington County. T12N-R19E, Section 15 W½NE¼. 42 acres.
Kewaskum Maple-Oak Woods consists of two parcels separated by old field and pine plantation that contain southern dry-mesic and mesic forest dominated by sugar maple, red oak, white ash, and basswood with some beech. Located just east of the Milwaukee River, the southern tract is hilly with southern, eastern, and western exposures and contains a very rich herb layer. Uncommon and interesting species include large-fruited snakeroot, dog violet, smooth bank cress, showy orchis, putty root orchid, and the rare American gromwell (Lithospermum latifolium). The northern tract is flatter and generally lower, containing very large red oak, white oak, sugar maple, and black cherry. Both parcels have kettle depressions that hold water seasonally. Common nesting birds include the uncommon yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), black-billed cuckoo, great-crested flycatcher, eastern wood pewee, wood thrush, blue-gray gnatcatcher, and scarlet tanager. Kewaskum Maple-Oak Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1977.
From the intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and State Highway 28 in Kewaskum, go east on 28 1.2 mile, then south on South Mill Road 0.8 mile to a parking area on the west side of road. Walk west through a pine plantation on the snowmobile trail 0.2 mile, then walk north or south into the site.
Kewaskum Maple-Oak Woods is owned by:
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.
Manage the site as a southern dry-mesic and mesic forest reserve and an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest.
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.
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.
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.
- Cross country skiing
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
- 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
- Camping and campfires
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]