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Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Newport Conifer-Hardwoods (No. 90)

Newport Conifer-Hardwoods

Photo by Josh Mayer

Resource links:

Newport State Park


Overview

Location

Within Newport State Park, Door County. T32N-R29E, Sections 28, 29. 140 acres.

Description

Description

Newport Conifer Hardwoods features a mix of northern forest types along Lake Michigan near the northern tip of the Door Peninsula. The cool, moist influence of the lake has allowed a forest composed of white birch, sugar maple, beech, and ash to develop. Elsewhere, boreal-like forest of Eastern hemlock, balsam fir, white spruce and white cedar predominates. A 3-to-8-foot-high wall of dolomite blocks traverses the site from the northeast to the southwest. This ledge is the former shoreline sculpted during the Lake Nippissing stage of Lake Michigan. Above the ledge, hardwoods are found growing on a jumbled boulder substrate. In the south and east, the hardwood forests stabilize low sand dunes where large colonies of club-moss can be observed. About ¼ mile of frontage on Lake Michigan is included in the natural area. Newport Conifer Hardwoods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1971.

Access

Driving directions

From Ellison Bay, go east on State Highway 42 about 2 miles, then south and east on County Highway NP about 3 miles to the Newport State Park entrance. The natural area is accessible via the Newport and Ridge hiking trails (get a map at the park contact station). A Wisconsin State Park sticker must be displayed on all vehicles entering the park.

Ownership

Newport Conifer-Hardwoods 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.

Objectives

Site objectives

Manage the site as a reserve for northern mesic/wet-mesic forest, boreal forest, and Great Lakes Beach, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native northern mesic/wet-mesic forests, boreal forests, and Great Lakes Beach ecosystems.

Management approach

The native dominant tree species are managed passively, and will convert over time to a more mesic forest condition. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Although removal of hazardous trees from over and near trails is an allowed activity, manipulation/removal of vegetation and soil disturbance should be minimized to the extent possible.

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