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Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Trade River Forest and Wetlands (No. 662)


Overview

Location

Within Governor Knowles State Forest, Polk County. T35N-R19W, Sections 4, 5. T35N-R19W, Sections 19, 30, 31, 32, T36N-R20W, Sections 34, 35. 909 acres.

Description

Description

Surrounding the Trade River, the largest tributary to the St. Croix River, this site features a diverse complex of southern mesic forest, springs, northern dry forest, and inclusions of black-ash dominated hardwood swamps. Numerous high quality forested seeps feed cold water into the stream in its lower reaches. The southern mesic forest is dominated by and unusual combination of bur oak and basswood with white ash and black ash. The herbaceous layer is diverse with maidenhair fern, lady fern, pointed tick-trefoil, wild geranium, and Virginia waterleaf. Seepy areas are common and support species such as skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, ostrich fern, cinnamon fern, and interrupted fern. A good quality northern dry-mesic forest as well as oak-dominated northern dry forest with scattered jack pine on sandy soils is also present. Characteristic species include Pennsylvania sedge, American starflower, elliptic shinleaf, early low blueberry, and Canada mayflower. Overall, this SNA exhibits the highest bird species richness of any site surveyed on the state forest and includes two rare birds along with numerous Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Trade River Forest and Wetlands is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2012.

Access

Driving directions

From Cushing, go west on Highway 87 nearly one mile, then continue west on 250th Avenue for 4.25 miles to a T-intersection with 290th Street. The site can be accessed from numerous locations from 290th, Evergreen Avenue, or 300th Street.

Ownership

Trade River Forest and Wetlands 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

Management objectives and prescriptions

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]

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Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017