Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Huiras Lake State Natural Area © Thomas A. Meyer, Wisconsin DNR

Cathedral Pines State Natural Area
© Thomas A. Meyer, Wisconsin DNR

June 2009

Wisconsin, naturally

Cathedral Pines State Natural Area

Notable: One of the finest old-growth conifer stands in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, dominated by hemlock and super-canopy red and white pines. The old-growth patches are imbedded in a larger matrix of small kettle lakes, ephemeral ponds, bogs, and upland mesic forest composed of sugar maple, yellow birch, white ash, basswood, paper birch and American beech. Common groundlayer species include intermediate wood fern, bluebead lily, club-mosses, partridge berry and fringed polygala. The pines support an active great blue heron rookery.

How to get there: To reach the Cathedral Pines hiking trail, which loops through a block of old-growth conifer forest: from the junction of State Highway 32 and County Highway F in Lakewood, Oconto County, go north on 32 one mile to Archibald Lake Road (FR 2121); then south 1.5 miles to Cathedral Lane; then north 0.3 mile to the Cathedral Pines parking area. Hwy. 32 and town roads offer access to other portions of the site. See Cathedral Pines for a map and more information.