- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Trout Lake Conifer Swamp (No. 21)
Within Northern Highland State Forest, Vilas County. T41N-R7E, Section 19. 22 acres.
Trout Lake Conifer Swamp is a small, mature northern wet-mesic forest composed of white cedar, black spruce, tamarack, and balsam fir. The ground cover is carpeted with sphagnum moss in which grow a number of orchids, one-sided pyrola, one-flowered wintergreen, American starflower, bunchberry, Canada mayflower, and many other typical bog plants. In the northwestern corner a series of springs flow to the northwest. Alder and black ash dominate in these areas. Surrounding the swamp are large-toothed aspen and white birch. Nesting birds include many warblers: Nashville, black and white, blackburnian, black-throated green, yellow-rumped, and northern parula. Black bears and large numbers of phantom crane flies have been observed. Recent water level changes have resulted in tree mortality and have compromised the quality of the site. Trout Lake Conifer Swamp is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1953.
From Woodruff, go north on U.S. Hwy. 51, 6 miles, then northeast on County M 2 miles or 0.25 miles past the intersection with County N. The natural area lies northwest of the highway.
Trout Lake Conifer Swamp 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.
Manage the site as a northern wet-mesic forest reserve, as an aquatic reserve and wetland protection site, 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 wet-mesic forests.
The native species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the site. 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.
- Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township and county.
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 (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
- Camping and campfires
For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]