- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Dunnville Barrens (No. 621)
Within Dunnville Wildlife Area, Dunn County. T26N-R12W, Sections 9, 16, 17, 20. 594 acres.
Situated on a broad, sandy terrace of the Chippewa River, Dunnville Barrens supports a pine barrens community dominated by scattered jack pine with black oak. The scattered trees or groves are interspersed with openings in which shrubs such as hazelnuts are prominent, along with prairie grasses and forbs. The groundlayer often contains species characteristic of "heaths", such as blueberries, and sweet fern. Other characteristic plants include dry sand prairie species such as june grass, little bluestem, asters, fame flower, small green milkweed, purple prairie clover, and leadplant. Also present is an open area of river and swale topography with fairly extensive, very good quality dry mesic prairie with wet mesic swales which is being managed with prescribed burns. The herbaceous layer is quite diverse and includes big bluestem, Virginia panic-grass, Indian grass, white baptisia, cream baptisia, Michigan lily, downy gentian, prairie alum-root, western sage-wort, culver's-root, and stiff goldenrod. This area supports such interesting species like the five-lined skink, a small reptile (5-8 inches long) with a bright blue tail found in oak and pine barrens and dry forest edges. Dunnville Barrens is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2010.
From the intersection of State Highway 25 and County C in Downsville, go east on C 2.2 miles, then south on County Y 3.5 miles, then go south on 580th Street about 0.9 miles into the site.
Dunnville Barrens 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.
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, 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]