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Kettle Moraine State Forest—Northern Unit Natural features

The Kettle Moraine northern unit's nearly 30,000 acres include a variety of terrain that's home to many plants and animals.

State Natural Areas

Butler Lake State Natural Area
Butler Lake State Natural Area trail head.

The forest includes a dozen state natural areas (listed in north-to-south order):

  • Kettle Moraine Red Oaks—The Ice Age Trail goes through this areas southeast of Greenbush. It has more than 100 kinds of trees, shrubs and other plants.
  • Johnson Hill Kame—South of Highways 67 and U near Woodside and Shamrock roads, a cone-shaped hill formed by water pouring down through a hole in a melting glacier.
  • Spruce Lake Bog State Natural Area—North of Dundee on Airport Road, 1/2 mile west of Vista Drive. This area is designated as a Wisconsin Wildlife Viewing Area and is included in the national "Watchable Wildlife" program. Visitors must stay on the boardwalk trail due to the fragile nature of the bog plants, the presence of poison sumac and the unstable bog surface.
  • Butler Lake and Flynn's Springs—East of Long Lake on Butler Lake Road, a seven-acre lake surrounded by sedge meadow.
  • Milwaukee River Tamarack Lowlands and Dundee Kame—On County Highway F, 1/4 mile east of Dundee. The kame is known throughout the world by geology students and is often pictured in geology textbooks because of its near perfect form.
  • Crooked Lake Wetlands—East of New Prospect on the north side of County Highway SS, this area includes three lakes and various kinds of woods and wetlands. It is home to many kinds of birds.
  • Milwaukee River and Swamp—This area is along the Milwaukee River north of Mauthe Lake and includes a large spring that feeds the river.
  • Haskell Noyes Memorial Woods—On County Highway GGG just south of Highway SS. A historical marker greets visitors to this 67-acre state natural area. This area is designated as a Wisconsin Wildlife Viewing Area and is included in the national "Watchable Wildlife" program.
  • Spring Lake—Southwest of New Prospect west of County Highway G, this clear, shallow lake has many fish. Various warblers nest in the area.
  • Kettle Hole Woods—Northeast of New Fane on County Highway S, then north on Forest View Road, this area has woods, shrubs, wildflowers, birds and frogs.
  • Kewaskum Maple-Oak Woods—Southeast of Kewaskum via State Highway 28 and South Mill Road, two parcels with interesting wild plants and birds.
  • Milwaukee River Floodplain Forest—This area is southeast of Kewaskum, on the west side of Oak Drive. It includes some islands in the east branch of the Milwaukee River.

Other points of interest

  • Greenbush Kettle—On Kettle Moraine Drive, 1 mile north of State Highway 67. An outstanding example of a glacial kettle hole. A scenic overlook, viewing deck and interpretive display is just a short walk from the parking lot.
  • Kame Field—Near the intersection of Highway V and Deer Road looking north. The mile-wide view of this spectacular kame field is breathtaking. Visitors can view and experience the rock and rubble and gravel "insides" of a kame up close.
  • Visita Trail Overlook—At the Henry S. Reuss Ice Age Visitor Center, State Highway 67 south of Dundee. A short climb up some stairs and you arrive at a viewing platform overlooking a beautiful vista from which you can see drumlins, eskers and ground moraines. The Visitor Center offers forest information, interpretive displays and a 20-minute film explaining how the glaciers shaped most of Wisconsin's landscape. You can buy nature books, clothing, admission stickers and trail passes there. Public programs are scheduled throughout the year and group programs on request.
  • Jersey Flats Prairie—On County Highway SS, 1/4 mile west of the village of New Prospect. This restored prairie is a glacial outwash plain. This area is designated as a Wisconsin Wildlife Viewing Area and is included in the national "Watchable Wildlife" program.
  • Little Mud Lake—On County Highway SS, 1/2 mile east of County Highway GGG. This site is a State Habitat Preservation Area and is vital for the long-term survival of the red-spotted, blue-spotted, spotted and tiger salamanders that thrive here. A picnic table and grill are provided at the small parking lot.
Last revised: Friday October 17 2014