- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Kettle Hole Woods (No. 254)
Sheboygan County. T13N-R20E, Section 18. 77 acres.
Located in southeastern Wisconsin's glacial kettle topography is Kettle Hole Woods, an isolated hill forested with southern mesic and dry-mesic hardwoods. Ephemeral ponds are scattered throughout the site. The mature forest features an excellent canopy of very large trees, primarily red oak and sugar maple with associated beech, basswood, white ash, white oak, and bitternut hickory. Most saplings are sugar maple and beech suggesting that the red oaks will eventually be replaced by other more mesophytic species. The shrub layer is variable in density with witch hazel, American hazelnut, viburnums, and gooseberry. Mayapple, Pennsylvania sedge, interrupted fern, lady fern, round-lobed hepatica, and wild geranium characterize portions of the groundlayer while scattered open areas with pockets of gooseberry support maidenhair fern, blue cohosh, bent trillium, and violets. Two state-threatened species, red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), and Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) nest here. Also present is the uncommon yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), ovenbird, red-eyed vireo, and hairy woodpecker. Many of the ponds are also used by a large number of amphibians. Kettle Hole Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a SNA in 1992.
From the intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and State Highway 28 in Kewaskum, go east on Highway 28 3.6 miles, then north on Forest View Road 5.7 miles. The natural area boundary is about 0.8 miles past Highway S. Walk east into the area.
Kettle Hole 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 reserve for southern dry-mesic forest, southern hardwood swamp, and emergent aquatics, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the natural communities represented here.
Native species are managed passively, allowing nature to determine the ecological characteristics. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, salvage of trees after a major wind event, and maintenance of existing facilities.
- The plantation will be thinned and harvested, and conversion to southern mesic forest will be promoted. Old field will be allowed to succeed to forest. Ephemeral ponds will be off-limits to vehicle access during tree salvage operations.
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]