LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Donate today: make a difference
Join the community of caretakers
Help preserve Wisconsin's State Natural Areas for future generations. Give to the Endangered Resources Fund today!
Donate today: make a difference
Find
a natural area by name.
Locate
a natural area by county.
Explore outdoors
and find places to go.
Use our interactive map
to find natural areas.
Volunteer
and help care for SNAs.
Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Tunnel Channel Woods (No. 592)


Overview

Location

Within Straight Lake State Park and Wildlife Area, Polk County. T36N-R16W, Sections 17, 18. T36N-R17W, Section 13. 457 acres.

Description

Description

The rolling glacial terrain of Tunnel Channel Woods supports an extensive, second-growth dry-mesic forest with scattered ephemeral ponds and kettle wetlands. The dominant trees include red oak, white oak, basswood, and red maple. Canopy associates are green ash, bur oak, paper birch, and aspen. White pine, yellow birch, shagbark hickory, and yellowbud hickory are also present. The shrub layer is variable in density with hazelnut, alternate-leaved dogwood, and maple-leaf viburnum. Characteristic groundlayer species include wild sarsaparilla, big-leaf aster, lady fern, wild geranium, large-flowered bellwort, enchanter's nightshade, pointed tick-trefoil, American lopseed, and white avens. More northern groundlayer species are found scattered throughout the forest and represented by partridgeberry, yellow bluebead lily, early low blueberry, and American starflower. Inclusions of more mesic forest with yellow birch, maidenhair fern, and false rue anemone are also present and small ponds and pockets of wet swamp hardwoods also occur. The forest supports numerous rare species, including several Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Two state-threatened bird species are also found here: the cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea) and red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus). During a June 2006 survey, very high densities of Ceruleans were found. This is unusual anywhere in the state but particularly at a site this far north. More common bird species usually associated with "southern"habitats include yellow-throated vireo, wood thrush, and blue-gray gnatcatcher. Other breeding birds include pileated woodpecker, hermit thrush, chestnut-sided warbler, black and white warbler, ovenbird, indigo bunting, and rose-breasted grosbeak. Trumpeter swans have also been observed using Straight Lake during the breeding season. Tunnel Channel Woods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2009.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 35 and 48 in Luck, go east on 48 5 miles, then north on 100th Street 2 miles to an old lane and pull-off west of the road.

Ownership

Tunnel Channel Woods 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.

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

  • Camping and campfires
  • 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
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

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

Back to Top

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017