- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Kickapoo Wild Woods (No. 570)
Within the Kickapoo River Wildlife Area, Crawford County. T7N-R4W, Sections 5, 6, 7. T7N-R5W, Section 1. T8N-R4W, Section 31. T8N-R5W, Section 36. 635 acres.
Kickapoo Wild Woods supports a diverse forest ranging from bur and white oak dry forest to sugar maple mesic woodland. Much of the site diversity is due to the extensive topography lending to a great variety of slope aspect. A relatively level ridgetop is surrounded by hillsides which descend 350 feet to the Kickapoo River. This site contains one of the largest blocks of old forest remaining in the Driftless Area. Large diameter white oak, red oak, and sugar maple are found in the uplands while silver maple, hackberry, and cottonwood dominate the floodplain forest. There is an abundance of course woody debris covering the forest floor. The understory is also diverse with species such as white baneberry, putty-root orchid, blue cohosh, spring-beauty, false mermaid, round-lobed hepatica, woodland phlox, Jacob's-ladder, and bellwort. The woods also provide critical habitat for nearly every southern Wisconsin forested bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Birds include red-headed woodpecker, tufted titmouse, wood thrush, Northern parula, Magnolia warbler, ovenbird, scarlet tanager, hooded warbler, worm-eating warbler, and Acadian flycatcher. Kickapoo Wild Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2008.
From Wauzeka, go east on Highway 60 1.5 miles, then north on Highway 131 1.5 miles, then west on Onstine Hill Road 0.7 miles to a parking area. Or continue south (turn left at fork) 0.3 miles to a second parking area.
Kickapoo Wild Woods is owned by:
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.
Manage the site as a reserve for southern dry-mesic/mesic forest and oak woodland, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes and prescribed understory manipulation (see below) will determine the structure of the forest. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native southern dry-mesic/mesic forests and oak woodlands.
The native dominant tree species (primarily oaks) are managed passively. However, understory manipulation and shrub control via harvest, brushing or fire may be needed to mimic natural disturbance patterns. The mostly passive canopy management and understory manipulation will determine the ecological characteristics of the site. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives. The oxbow lakes will be passively managed.
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.
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
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
- Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), 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]