- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Kentuck Lake (No. 442)
Located within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Vilas County. T41N-R12E, Sections 27, 34. 291 acres.
Kentuck Lake features a unique 0.7 mile long, 10-20 meter wide swale flanked by two narrow, curving sandy ridges that parallel the north shore of Kentuck Lake. Wind and wave action, in concert with the lake's size, shape, orientation and basin morphology, have over the centuries created the unique ridge and swale topography found here. The assemblage of plants found on the swale contains representatives of several natural communities seldom found in such close association. Species normally associated with xeric pine forests or barrens exist here intermingled with species characteristic of open bog, conifer swamp, sedge meadow, and calcareous fen. The inland beach consists of a wet, open sandy-peat swale with scattered small trees of tamarack, jack pine, white pine, paper birch, showy mountain ash, red maple, and winter holly. In open areas are patches of bog species such as sphagnum moss, wire-leaved sedges, and ericaceous shrubs interspersed with patches of bog club moss, sundews, bladderworts, beak-rushes, and sedges. The low ridge adjacent to the lake is densely forested with scattered pines, white spruce, red maple, and balsam fir. To the northeast is a one to two meter high, 10-30 meter wide beach ridge forested with an older-growth forest of white and red pine, hemlock, white spruce, black spruce, balsam fir, yellow birch, and white cedar. Further inland is a larger northern wet forest dominated by black spruce and tamarack with small pockets of white cedar, black ash, and red maple. A dense shrub layer of tag alder, winterberry, and mountain holly is present in the less boggy portions of this wetland. Where a deep carpet of sphagnum moss is present, the shrub layer is composed of ericaceous species including Labrador tea, bog rosemary, and cranberry. Common herbaceous species are cinnamon fern, water arum, and swamp false Solomon's seal. Breeding birds include Nashville warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, yellow-bellied flycatcher, and white-throated sparrow. Other species include bald eagle along with mink, leopard, and green frogs. Kentuck Lake is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.
From Eagle River, go east on State Highway 70 15 miles, then north on Divide Road 3 miles to the USFS Kentuck Lake campground. Park and walk on the hiking trail 0.3 miles northwest along the north shore of the lake into the site.
Kentuck Lake is owned by:
- US Forest Service
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]