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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Blue Swamp (No. 285)


Overview

Location

Within Clark County Forest. Clark County. T27N-R4W, Sections 16, 20, 21, 27, 28, 33. 560 acres.

Description

Description

Blue Swamp features a large acid peatland comprised of central poor fen and northern wet forest communities that drain in two directions, to the North and the South Fork of the Eau Claire River. The major plant communities present are a tamarack dominated conifer swamp and a brushy meadow dominated by sedges and bog birch. Beaked, American woolly-fruit, and few-seeded sedges with blue-joint grass, leather-leaf, marsh fern, steeplebush, and blue-flag iris dominate the sedge meadow. The large, acidic conifer swamp is dominated by tamarack and black spruce which rises abruptly in the eastern part of the wetland and a tall shrub zone of speckled alder, black chokeberry, Labrador-tea, huckleberry, and mountain holly occurs along the upland edges. Low shrubs include small cranberry, velvet-leaf blueberry, and creeping snowberry. Other characteristic species include three-seeded sedge, muck sedge, false mayflower, and tussock cotton-grass. Noteworthy birds include sedge wren (Cistothorus plantensis), Northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), and sandhill crane. Blue Swamp is owned by Clark County and was designated a State Natural Area in 1995.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highway 29, 73, and County Highway M in Thorp, go south on M 8.5 miles, then west on MM 3.5 miles, then south on a logging road 1 mile to the site. The natural area encompasses the open meadow.

Ownership

Blue Swamp is owned by:

  • Clark County

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.

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.

Non-DNR lands

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. 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 of this non-DNR owned SNA may be posted, if available, under the "Access" tab above.

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Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017