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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach (No. 233)

Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Door County. T30N-R28E, Section 10, SE¼; Section 11, SW¼. 108 acres.

Description

Description

Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach protects a 5-acre undisturbed bedrock beach, rare plant and animal communities, geological features, and adjacent boreal forest relict, all which are dependent on the dynamic influence of Lake Michigan. The primary feature is the dolomite bedrock beach, which is periodically covered and exposed, depending on Lake Michigan water levels. When exposed, several plants indicative of these calcareous and unstable shorelines colonize the beach, including uncommon species such as small fringed gentian (Gentianopsis procera), tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), and several sedges (Carex spp.). Ambient shorelines are present as low ledges in the forested portions of the site. The boreal forest is typical of the northeastern Door Peninsula with white cedar, white spruce, paper birch, white pine, hemlock, and balsam fir. Common understory plants are thimbleberry and mountain maple. The groundlayer is sparse, with mosses and lichens predominating. Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1990.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highway 57 and County Highway Q north of Baileys Harbor, go northeast on Q 3.5 miles to Cana Island Road, then south 0.9 mile to Bues Point Road. Park SE of the intersection and walk west into the natural area.

Ownership

Moonlight Bay Bedrock Beach 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.

Management

Management objectives and prescriptions

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