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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Mountain Lake (No. 473)

Fassett's Locoweed

Photo by D. Kind


Overview

Location

Within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Bayfield County. T45N-R8W, Section 28. 14 acres.

Description

Description

The primary feature of Mountain Lake is the fluctuating lakeshore habitat that supports one of our rarest plants - the federally threatened Fassett's locoweed (Oxytropis campestris var. chartacea). This Midwest endemic is found nowhere else in the world and is adapted to the sandy shores of shallow seepage lakes whose shorelines fluctuate widely over months or years depending on rainfall and drought patterns. When the shore is exposed, locoweed seeds in the seed bank germinate, grow, flower, and drop seeds. The plant requires open, sunny habitat and relies on periodic flooding to kill shade-producing trees that invade the shoreline in dry years. The shoreline also provides habitat for the state-endangered alpine milk-vetch (Astragalus alpinus). Other rare plants include New England northern reed grass (Calamagrostis stricta) and large roundleaf orchid (Platanthera orbiculata). The dramatic upland ridge east of the lake is primarily fire origin second-growth dry-mesic forest of red oak, white pine and red pine grading into a more mesic forest of sugar maple-basswood as the ridge drops to the north and east. It forms a large block of relatively undisturbed forest in an area that is highly manipulated by production forestry. Mountain Lake is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

Access

Driving directions

The site is located 5.5 miles west of Drummond, WI. From Drummond, go west on County N 5.5 miles, then northeast on Pigeon Lake Road (FR 394) 0.15 mile to a private gated access lane to the north. Park on the road but please do not block the gate. Walk north on the access lane 0.35 miles into the site. The site lies east and west of the road. No vehicles are allowed on the access lane; however, the landowners do allow for public access into the site on foot. Please do not trespass on surrounding private lands.

Ownership

Mountain Lake 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