- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Cedarburg Bog (No. 2)
Ozaukee County. T11N-R21E, Sections 20, 21, 28-33. 1,600 acres.
Cedarburg Bog is the most intact large bog in southeastern Wisconsin and composed of a mosaic of vegetation types. Once part of a large glacial lake, the bog is a relict community - a southern example of the type more commonly found in northern Wisconsin. There are six lakes remaining within the bog, all with varying sizes and depths. The 245-acre Mud Lake is the largest, followed by the 34-acre Long Lake. Surrounding the lakes are areas of emergent aquatic vegetation while just outside this zone is a successional shrub-carr area. Most unusual is a string or "patterned" bog, unique here because it lies far south of its usual range in North America. It is composed of ridges of stunted cedar and tamarack that lie in an open flat sedge mat. The meadow vegetation consists of narrow-leaved sedges, pitcher plant, bogbean, water horsetail, arrow-grass, orchids, and the insectivorous sundew and bladderwort. A conifer-swamp hardwood forest is adjacent to the bog. There is a very diverse flora and fauna; many that are more common in northern boreal forests and that are at their southern range limit here. Cedarburg Bog is owned by the DNR and University of Wisconsin and was designated a State Natural Area in 1952.
From the intersection of County Highway Y and State Highway 33 in Newburg, go east on 33 2.6 miles to a parking area on the south side of the road. A trail leads to a pier on Watts Lake. For access to Mud Lake and the heart of the bog, go south on Y 4.2 miles, then east on Cedar-Sauk Road, 0.75 miles to a pull-off on the north side of the road. Walk north along a boggy, unimproved trail to the lake. A kayak or canoe is required to reach the interior. Access to UW-Milwaukee land is available to groups by contacting the UWM Field Station on Blue Goose Road at (262)675-6844.
Cedarburg Bog is owned by:
- UW Board of Regents
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 reserve for patterned peatland, northern wet & wet-mesic forest, and bog lakes, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection site, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the wetland forest and lakes. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native patterned peatlands, northern wetland forests, and bog lakes.
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.
- Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township and county.
- Parking areas, boardwalks, and disabled access fishing piers are maintained to Department standards. The management includes removal of windfalls, hazard trees over the trail and mowing. Soil disturbance is not permitted during any maintenance operations.
- Access to the portion of the SNA managed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is by permission only.
- Cedarburg Bog is currently undergoing the master planning process. For more information, please visit the DNR's Master Planning page.
- Cedarburg Bog is currently undergoing the master planning process.
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.
Hunting and trapping
This SNA has multiple landowners: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. In general, most DNR-owned land allows hunting and trapping. Partner-owned land may have other rules (for example, university-owned lands do not allow hunting or trapping). 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 on the non-DNR land may be found under the "Access" tab above, if available.
Allowable activities: DNR-owned land
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
Prohibited activities: all SNAs
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
- Collecting of animals, 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]