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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Grandma Lake Wetlands (No. 305)

Grandma Lake Wetlands

Photo by Eric Epstein



Within Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Florence County. T39N-R15E, Sections 28, 33, 34. 495 acres.



Grandma Lake Wetlands contains a 44-acre pristine soft water bog lake surrounded by an open mat that supports an unusual and diverse flora. Ringing the lake is a wide, open mat of sphagnum moss, sedges, rushes, and low ericaceous shrubs. Locally, the mat composition is quite unusual, with species such as bog club-moss, horned bladderwort, and a bulrush assuming dominance. A conifer swamp of tamarack and black spruce surround the open bog. Northern white cedar is also present. The transition zone between open bog and conifer swamp is occupied by a muskeg of widely scattered, stunted swamp conifers within a matrix of typical bog vegetation. Of particular importance is the presence of a large population of bog rush (Juncus stygius), a state endangered species that was unknown in Wisconsin until 1982. Other rare plants include bog arrow-grass (Triglochin maritimum), dragon's-mouth orchid (Arethusa bulbosa), and two sedges, livid (Carex livida) and small-headed bog sedge (C. tenuiflora). Insectivorous species are quite common including pitcher plant, narrow-leaved sundew, round-leaved sundew, and several bladderworts. A number of rare birds inhabit this area including black tern (Chilidonius niger), common loon (Gavia immer), merlin (Falco columbarius), and American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). Grandma Lake Wetlands 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.


Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 139 and Elm Street in Long Lake, go south on Highway 139 1.3 miles, then east on FR2402 3.75 miles, then south on FR 2158 (Grandma Lake Road) 0.5 mile to a bermed trail marked with a brown breeding bird survey fencepost. Walk west along the trail 0.2 mile to the bog mat surrounding Grandma Lake. The most diverse part of the mat lies north and northeast of the lake.


Grandma Lake Wetlands 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.

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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Prohibited activities

  • 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
  • Geocaching

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

Last revised: Friday, January 29, 2016