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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Spruce Lake Bog (No. 59)

Spruce Lake Bog

Photo by DNR


Overview

Location

Within Northern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest, Fond du Lac County. T14N-R19E, Sections 22, 23. 140 acres.

Description

Description

Spruce Lake Bog features an undisturbed shallow seepage bog lake situated in one of the many kettle holes characteristic of the interlobate glacial deposits scattered throughout the area. The 35-acre lake has moderately hard water with a pH of 7.5 and supports a dense, floating-leaved aquatic flora of water shield and water lilies. The site is particularly rich in plants more characteristic of northern Wisconsin sphagnum bogs and greatly resembles them in appearance. Black spruce, which is common in the swamp forest, is near its southern range limit in Wisconsin. Distinct vegetation zones encircle the lake with a floating sedge mat of cotton grass, three-fruited sedge, royal fern, pitcher plant, round-leaved sundew, moccasin flower, wintergreen, and small cranberry grading into a bog forest of tamarack and black spruce. An outer zone of swamp hardwoods includes tamarack, black ash, red maple, yellow birch, and white cedar and contains species more commonly associated with northern coniferous forests including three-leaved gold-thread, American starflower, partridgeberry, common winterberry, and yellow blue-bead lily. The diversity of shrubs on the sedge mat and in the forest is indicative of the area’s high quality. Species include speckled alder, black chokeberry, willow, round-leaved and red-osier dogwood, Labrador-tea, bog birch, leather-leaf, bog-rosemary, poison sumac, mountain holly, meadowsweet, huckleberry, cranberry, and blueberry. Several bird species with northern affinities nest here, including northern waterthrush, Nashville warbler, Canada warbler, and white-throated sparrow. Spruce Lake Bog has been designated a national natural landmark by the US Park Service. Spruce Lake Bog is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1968.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highway 67 and County Highway F in Dundee, go west on F 0.2 mile, then north on Vista Drive 1.3 miles, then west on Airport Road 0.5 mile to a parking area north of the road. A trail and boardwalk lead to the lake.

Ownership

Spruce Lake Bog is owned by:

  • WDNR

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.

Management

Site objectives

Manage the site as a reserve for northern wet/wet-mesic forest and open bog, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection site, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest and bog. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native northern forested wetlands and open bogs.

Management approach

The native species are managed passively, which allows nature to 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.

Site-specific considerations

  • Although removal of hazardous trees from over and near trail and boardwalk is an allowed activity, manipulation/removal of vegetation and soil disturbance should be minimized to the extent possible.
  • A fence is maintained along the west property boundary.
  • The old field will be allowed to be invaded by native northern forest species.

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.

Allowable activities

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.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • 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
  • Geocaching

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For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

Last revised: Thursday, August 14, 2014