- Natural areas
- Contact information
- For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
- Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist
Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Pat Shay Lake (No. 446)
Located within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties. T39N-R11, Section 1. T39N-R12E Sections 5, 6. T40N-R12E Section 29, 30, 31. T40N-R11E Section 36. 736 acres.
Pat Shay Lake features a high quality wild lake surrounded by excellent old growth hemlock hardwood forests, rare on the National Forest on this LTA. Hemlock is regenerating well in canopy gaps and around the stand margins. Immediately north and south of the lake are forests dominated by hemlock with a minor component of sugar maple and yellow birch. Northwest of Pat Shay Lake, sugar maple becomes co-dominant with hemlock. Trees up to 24 inches in diameter are present for both species. The best stands have good old growth characteristics including den trees, large snags, and downed coarse woody debris throughout. The herb layer is dominated by Dryopteris fern species and lycopods. Topography of the uplands is generally rolling with steep slopes bordering the wetlands. In the western half of the complex, a good quality bog pond community and a good quality sedge meadow are divided by a representative early successional stage forest community. Scattered super-canopy white pine are present. The site contains no improved roads, only skidder trails, ski trails, and an access trail to Pat Shay Lake. Rare and uncommon birds include gray jay, black-throated blue warbler, and Nashville warbler. Other notable species are lance-leaved grape fern, least moonwort, checkered rattlesnake plantain, and Mink Frog. Pat Shay Lake is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.
The site is located approximately 13 miles Southeast of Eagle River. Go south on FR 2178 3 miles, then east on FR 2179 1 mile. An unimproved dirt road provides access to the Southeast corner of Pat Shay Lake for canoe access. Ski trails enter north end of complex providing access from FR 2181.
Pat Shay 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]