- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Bayshore Blufflands (No. 377)
Door County. Parts of T28N-R26E, Section 6. T29N-R26E, Sections 10, 16, 20, 21, 29, 31, 32. 150 acres.
Located along more than three miles of the Niagara Escarpment, Bayshore Blufflands is an ecologically complex site with a diversity of plant communities both above and below the escarpment and a series of seeps and springs at the base of the bluff's talus slopes. Rising 150-200 feet above the low terrace of Green Bay, the steep carbonate cliffs and outcrops support numerous rare land snails including the cherrystone drop snail (Hendersonia occulta), a state-threatened species. Aspen, sugar maple, red oak, hemlock, and white cedar grow out of the talus affording complete shade to the escarpment maintaining the cool and damp conditions, which support a lush growth of mosses. The unique site conditions also support such uncommon species as climbing fumitory, mountain maple, bulbet fern, common polypody, and fragile fern. Above the escarpment is a dry-mesic forest of red and white pine with red oak. The ground layer is dense dominated by round-leaved dogwood with northern bush honeysuckle, zig-zag goldenrod, big-leaved aster, and bracken fern. The site slowly grades into a richer, more mesic forest containing sugar maple, beech, and red oak with hemlock, and white pine. Also present is a wet-mesic forest of white cedar, big-tooth aspen, and black ash. Several white cedars reach impressive sizes here. Below the escarpment are seasonally flooded forests dominated by silver maple, and green ash with swamp white oak, American bladdernut, and great water-leaf. The site contains many rare plants including the federally threatened dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris). Other species are variegated horsetail (Equisetum variegatum), Hooker's orchid (Platanthera hookeri), long-spurred violet (Viola rostrata), and large-flowered ground-cherry (Leucophysalis grandiflora). Rare animals include red-shouldered hawk (Buteo linneatus), Midwest Pleistocene vertigo (Vertigo hubrichti), and Iowa Pleistocene vertigo (V. iowaensis). Bayshore Blufflands is owned by The Door County Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002.
Located near the shores of Green Bay approximately 2 miles west of Carlsville and 8 miles north of Sturgeon Bay. To access the upper trailhead, from the intersection of Highways 42 and 57 just north of Sturgeon Bay, go north on 42 4.5 miles, then west on W. Town Line Road 1.5 miles, then north on Reynolds Road 0.5 mile to a small parking area and Door County Land Trust kiosk west of the road. To access the lower trailhead, continue north on Reynolds Road 0.7 miles, then south on County B 0.9 miles to a parking area and trailhead east of the road. Trails provide access into and through the site.
For hunting opportunities, visit the Door County Land Trust for hunting opportunities.
Bayshore Blufflands is owned by:
- Door County Land Trust
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.
See the "Ownership" tab above to determine if this State Natural Area is DNR-owned, 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
Many State Natural Areas are owned by DNR partner organizations and agencies. See the "Ownership" tab above to determine ownership of this SNA. Allowable recreational uses on partner-owned sites, and the rules governing them, may differ from those permitted on DNR-owned SNAs. Specific rules, especially for hunting and trapping, vary depending on the partner’s policies, and some may require a special permit. More details regarding use of partner-owned SNAs may be available under the "Access" tab above. If this SNA is owned by a partner, a link to the partner website is found at the top of this page. Please contact partners directly for more information on activities allowed on this property.
- 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]