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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Hemlock Draw (No. 535)

Hemlock Draw

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Sauk County. T10N-R5E, Section 5. 685 acres.

Description

Description

Situated along Honey Creek, Hemlock Draw is a narrow gorge of sandstone and conglomerate rock that supports species with more northerly affinities. Dense stands of hemlock and yellow birch line the stream and gorge and shelter many northern forest plants such as several club-moss species. Sedges, skunk cabbage, and witch hazel also grow along the flat-bottomed draw. On the flanks of the draw, hemlock and other northern species give way to rich forests of sugar maple, red oak, ironwood, and big-tooth aspen. Wood anemone, wild geranium, and early meadow rue all flower abundantly under the large trees. Drier forests dominated by red oak grow on the bluff tops north and south of the draw. In all, the site features five major kinds of forest along with several interesting cliff and glade communities. On quartzite outcroppings are two examples of acid bedrock glades that support populations of the state-threatened slender bush clover (Lespedeza virginica) and special concern species violet bush clover (L. violacea). The nodding pogonia (Triphora tranthophora) has been found in the southern dry-mesic forest on the south ridge. The draw itself shelters several other rare plants including drooping sedge (Carex prasina) and Sullivant's cool-wort (Sullivantia sullivantii) on the cliffs. As part of the Baraboo Hills landscape, this site contains important breeding and migratory habitat for many bird species. More than 40 species of breeding birds, including barred owls, ruffed grouse, wood thrush, 6 species of warbler, and 4 species of woodpeckers depend on Hemlock Draw for food and cover. The state-endangered worm-eating warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus) is one of several rare birds found here. Hemlock Draw is owned by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 12 and County PF north of Sauk City, go west on PF 12 miles, then north on County C 0.25 miles into Leland, then north on Hemlock Road 2 miles, then continue north on Reich Drive 0.5 miles to the gate. Park along the shoulder of the road south of the mailbox. Please do not block Reich Drive as local farmer use it to move large equipment. For access from the north (and the dedicated SNA parcel), from the intersection of PF and C in Leland, go north on C 2 miles, then north on Orchard Road 2.5 miles, then west on Schara Road 0.5 miles. Park along the shoulder and walk south into the site.

For hunting opportunities, visit The Nature Conservancy's website: The Nature Conservancy [exit DNR].

Ownership

Hemlock Draw is owned by:

  • The Nature Conservancy

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