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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Standing Cedars (No. 600)

Standing Cedars

Photo by Aaron Carlson



Polk County. T32N-R19W, Sections 5, 20, 29. T33N-R19W, Sections 32, 33. 866 acres.



Standing Cedars features a diversity of natural community types situated on the varied topography along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. A mature mesic forest of sugar maple, red oak, basswood, yellow birch, and white pine is found in a narrow gorge tributary to the St. Croix. On the bluffs and hillsides are dry prairie and oak savanna remnants that support a population of the state-threatened plant, kitten-tails (Bessya bullii). The prairie contains a diversity of other native species such as side-oats grama grass, needle grass, prairie coreopsis, white prairie clover, prairie smoke, hoary puccoon, false dandelion, lance-leaved ground cherry, wild bergamot, wood betony, and flowering spurge. Emanating from the base of the west-facing bluffs are springs and seeps that flow to the St. Croix River. These wet areas harbor the rare bog bluegrass (Poa paludigena) along with swamp saxifrage, bulblet water-hemlock, cardinal flower, northern blueflag, marsh marigold, spring-cress, and water parsnip. Bird life is also diverse and includes many Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Old-field grasslands contain good populations of bobolink, field sparrow, and sedge wren while the wooded ravines harbor the state-threatened cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea). Others birds include yellow-billed cuckoo, black-billed cuckoo, red-headed woodpecker, wood pewee, bank swallow, veery, wood thrush, brown thrasher, golden-winged warbler, prothonotary warbler, ovenbird, mourning warbler, scarlet tanager, red-breasted grosbeak, and eastern meadowlark. Standing Cedars is owned by the Standing Cedars Community Land Trust and was designated Wisconsin's 600th State Natural Area in 2009.


Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highway 35 and County M in Osceola, go south on 35 2 miles, then west on 55th Avenue 2.2 miles to a small parking area. Or from the intersection of 35 and M, go south on 35 4.5 miles, then west on 30th Avenue 1.7 miles, then south on 280th Street 1.1 miles to a small lane on the west side of the road. Go 0.15 miles to the Y and park. Walk south on the lane into the site. Looped hiking trails provide access to the natural area. Hunting opportunities are available with landowner permission. For more information visit Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy [exit DNR] .


Standing Cedars is owned by:

  • Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy


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.

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017