- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Chequamegon Hardwoods (No. 292)
Within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Ashland County. T44N-R3W, Section 6, N½NW¼. 80 acres.
Chequamegon Hardwoods is an old second-growth northern mesic hardwood forest with an undisturbed understory. Scattered throughout the site are several very large exposures of gabbro bedrock, some up to 50 feet in height. Although the stand was logged in the 1930's, it still retains patches of old-growth hemlock, various hardwoods and some very large big-tooth aspen. Sugar maple, basswood, and yellow birch dominate most of the stand with canopy associates of red oak and white ash. Other areas feature hemlock and large big-tooth aspen. The midstory includes such characteristic species such as leather-leaf, mountain maple, beaked hazelnut, and alternate-leaved dogwood. The herbaceous layer has never been grazed and is diverse with over 80 plant species including spikenard, blue cohosh, green adders-mouth, nodding trillium, maidenhair fern, and bloodroot. Three orchids, purple fringed, spotted coral, and early coral root are also present. Low areas of wet-mesic forest are dominated by black ash with white cedar, red maple, yellow birch, and hemlocks with an understory of speckled alder, swamp aster, and spotted Joe-Pye-weed. The stream running through the site contains a good population of Fontinalis, an aquatic moss, and an abundant larval caddisfly fauna. Numerous forest interior birds are present such as Nashville, black and white, and black-throated green warblers, ovenbird, and wood pewee. Amphibians include wood frog and red-backed salamander. Chequamegon Hardwoods is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 1996. This site is also recognized by the Forest Service as an established Research Natural Area.
From the intersection of State Highway 13 and County Highway GG in Mellen, go southwest on GG about 8 miles, then northwest on FR 187 (Mineral Lake Road) 0.7 miles, then north on FR 188 (Hanson Road) 1.6 miles to where the North Country Trail crosses the road. Park along the road and walk due north 0.25 mile to the southern boundary of the site. The North Country Trail just skirts the southeastern tip of the natural area as it heads in a northeasterly direction.
Chequamegon Hardwoods is owned by:
- US Forest Service
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.
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 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.
- 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]