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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Thornapple Hemlocks (No. 459)

Thornapple Hemlocks

Photo by U.S. Forest Service


Overview

Location

Within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.Sawyer County. T40N-R3W, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22. 455 acres.

Description

Description

Thornapple Hemlocks is a medium sized complex that contains a good representation of most of the major community types found within this landtype (Flambeau Silt-capped Drumlins). Included within the site are good quality examples of rich, maple-basswood forest, hemlock-hardwood forest, lowland transitional hemlock forest, mixed hardwood swamp forest, and black spruce-tamarack bog. Of the above, the upland hemlock-hardwood forest is most noteworthy in that this forest type was historically the dominant land cover on this landtype. On level, somewhat poorly drained ground moraine is northern mesic to wet-mesic forest dominated by 10-12" and 20"+ hemlock with yellow birch, red maple, and super-canopy white pine and white spruce. Northern white cedar is occasionally present in localized areas. Yellow birch saplings on stumps and old tip-ups, and balsam fir and white spruce saplings in canopy gaps are the common understory species. The shrub layer is sparse and poorly developed with a predominantly open understory. Typical ground layer species include Canada mayflower, American starflower, yellow blue-bead lily, three-leaved goldthread, wood ferns, bunchberry, with sphagnum moss and cinnamon fern in the wettest areas. A narrow intermittent feeder stream of Log Creek drains an adjacent black spruce and tamarack bog as it flows south through the stand. It is closed canopied with a sand and gravel bottom. To the west, conditions become wetter and the community type changes to a mixed northern hardwood swamp. To the north lowland hemlock grades up into a mature, rich, mesic hardwood forest dominated by sugar maple and basswood with white ash and black ash. Ironwood saplings and poles are the predominant midstory species. Shrubs are sparse, consisting of widely scattered gooseberry. The ground layer is diverse and rich with spring ephemerals including wild leek, Dutchman's breeches, sweet cicely, blue cohosh, bloodroot, and lady fern. Breeding birds include scarlet tanager, eastern wood-pewee, yellow-bellied flycatcher, rose-breasted grosbeak, black-and-white warbler, and ovenbird. This stand, while significantly disturbed in the past, represents the best example left on the Forest. Thornapple Hemlocks is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

Access

Driving directions

The site can be accessed from Forest Trail 209. From the intersection of Highway 70 and FR 162 just east of Draper, go north on FR 162 about 5.1 miles, then east on FR 161 0.8 miles, then south on Forest Trail 209 to the site.

Ownership

Thornapple Hemlocks is owned by:

  • US Forest Service

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