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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Kangaroo Lake (No. 335)

Kangaroo Lake

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Door County. T30N-R27E, Sections 24, 25. T30N-R28E, Sections 19, 30. 357 acres.

Description

Description

Kangaroo Lake lies in a basin ½ mile from the Lake Michigan coast and contains a mosaic of communities including a shallow, marl-bottom lake, northern upland forest, northern wet-mesic forest and marsh. While marl lakes are relatively common throughout Door County, undeveloped ones such as Kangaroo Lake are exceptionally rare. The lake's source is the spring-fed Piel Creek, which originates from a series of small springs in an unusual marl fen 5 miles upstream. Piel Creek and the surrounding wetlands provide critical habitat for the federally endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana). This is one of only two known reproducing populations in the country. Lowland forest of white cedar, black ash, tamarack, black spruce, and balsam fir surround the north end of the lake, which is ringed by floating sedge mats. Characteristic shrubs include speckled alder, willows, and meadowsweet. Canada yew, a declining Wisconsin species, is found along a peninsula of the north basin. Common herbs are three-leaved gold-thread, dewberry, naked miterwort, and American starflower. A dolomite plateau with numerous crevices and areas of exposed bedrock contains a forest dominated by sugar maple, beech, white birch, and red oak with a rich diversity of spring wildflowers. Numerous other rare and endangered species are present including the state and federally threatened dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris), the dorcas copper butterfly (Lycaena dorcas), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), osprey (Pandion haliatus), and Caspian tern (Sterna caspia). The marsh also provides important breeding and migratory habitat for black terns, sandhill cranes, and many species of waterfowl. A causeway built in the late 1800's separates Kangaroo Lake into two distinct parts - a highly developed southern portion and the northern end, which has almost completely escaped development due to the extensive wetlands. Kangaroo Lake is owned by The Nature Conservancy and the Door County Land Trust and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002.

Access

Driving directions

From the junction of Highways 57 and F in Baileys Harbor, go south on 57 1.4 miles, then west on County Highway E 2.4 miles, then north on North Maple Road 100 feet to a parking area and trailhead on the east side of the road. The wetlands are best viewed by canoe. Put in at the west end of the Highway E causeway.

For hunting opportunities visit The Nature Conservancy's deer management pages. [exit DNR]

Ownership

Kangaroo Lake is owned by:

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Door County Land Trust

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