- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Waupun Park Maple Forest (No. 51)
Within Waupun County Park, Fond du Lac County. T14N-R15E, Section 31 NE¼NE¼. 40 acres.
Waupun Park Maple Forest features an outstanding old-growth remnant of southern mesic forest a deciduous community type that originally covered an estimated 3.4 million acres in southern Wisconsin. The nearly level site is underlain by rich silt loam soils over calcareous till that supports many mature trees well over 2 feet in diameter. Sugar maple is the dominant canopy species, but there is a diversity of other large trees including red oak, white oak, basswood, white ash, and black walnut. Smaller mid-canopy trees are also present including slippery elm, eastern hop-hornbeam, black cherry, and bitternut hickory. There is abundant reproduction of sugar maple and a striking absence of shrubs in the understory. The northwestern portion of the site is drier and contains a higher amount of oaks including black oak. There is a diversity of herbaceous plants with a rich mixture of spring flowers including white and red baneberry, bloodroot, blue cohosh, sharp-lobed hepatica, jack-in-the-pulpit, may-apple, phlox, spring-beauty, toothwort, large-flowered trillium, white trout-lily, violets, Virginia water-leaf, and wood anemone. Waupun Park Maple Forest is owned by Fond du Lac County and was designated a State Natural Area in 1967.
From the intersection of State Highway 49 and County Highway MMM on the west side of Waupun, go north on MMM 0.8 miles into Waupun County Park to a parking area north of the road. The natural area lies east of the campground. A trail winds through the woods.
Waupun Park Maple Forest is owned by:
- Fond du Lac County
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.
See the "Ownership" tab above to determine if this State Natural Area is DNR-owned, In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the “Access” tab above and posted with signs on site.
- Cross country skiing
Many State Natural Areas are owned by DNR partner organizations and agencies. See the "Ownership" tab above to determine ownership of this SNA. Allowable recreational uses on partner-owned sites, and the rules governing them, may differ from those permitted on DNR-owned SNAs. Specific rules, especially for hunting and trapping, vary depending on the partner’s policies, and some may require a special permit. More details regarding use of partner-owned SNAs may be available under the "Access" tab above. If this SNA is owned by a partner, a link to the partner website is found at the top of this page. Please contact partners directly for more information on activities allowed on this property.
- 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]