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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program White River Breaks (No. 671)

White River

Photo by Wisconsin Trail Guide LLC


Overview

Location

Within the White River Fishery Area, Bayfield County. T46N-R5W, Sections 9, 10, 11.

Description

Description

Situated along the steep banks and flat floodplain of the White River, White River Breaks features unique forests comprised of boreal species. The steep clay seepage bluffs contain a mix of forested and non-forested areas with species such as red pine, white pine, northern white cedar, and paper birch present. This native community type occurs along stretches of the Great Lakes shoreline and less commonly inland on streams draining into Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Several places are quite open and contain characteristic clay seepage bluff species including hundreds of showy lady’s-slipper. Other plants include buffaloberry, speckled alder, Canada goldenrod, pearly everlasting, and golden sedge. The mesic floodplain terrace supports river birch, black ash, northern white cedar, white spruce, balsam fir, and trembling aspen. The groundlayer is rich in ephemerals and contains good amounts of course woody debris. Wood anemone, large leaf aster, and Canada mayflower are abundant. Other species include trout lily, hepatica, large-flowered trillium, northern green orchid, blue-flag iris, golden ragwort, and northern bedstraw. White River Breaks is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2013.

Access

Driving directions

For canoe access: Just east Highway 63 in Mason, put in from Maple Ridge Road west of the bridge. Trail guide. Or from County E and Highway 63 in Mason, go north on 63 4.5 miles, then east on Highway 118 2.5 miles, then south on Franciskovich Road 1.1 miles and park. Walk southeast along a woods road 0.7 miles to the northwest corner of the site.

Ownership

White River Breaks 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]

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Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017