Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of natural area © Thomas Meyer

A white pine leans over the frozen surface of Camp Lake at Camp Lake and Pines State Natural Area in Vilas County.
© Thomas Meyer

February 2011

Wisconsin, naturally

Camp Lake and Pines State Natural Area

Notable: This site features a small, but mature, dry-mesic forest bordering the east and south sides of Camp Lake, an undisturbed seepage lake. The canopy is dominated by large red pine and white pine with red oak, red maple, paper birch, balsam fir, big-tooth aspen and white spruce. Trailing arbutus, velvet-leaved blueberry and pipsissewa are common understory species. The 37-acre lake has extremely soft, clear water and a sand and gravel bottom. The lake harbors a suite of stiff-leaved, bottom-hugging water plants known as "sterile rosette flora" that are adapted to the highly oligotrophic (infertile) water conditions. They include water lobelia, seven-angle pipewort, and small waterwort. Rare and uncommon birds using the lake include American black duck, bald eagle and common loon. Birds found in the surrounding uplands are Blackburnian warbler, pine warbler, pileated woodpecker and ovenbird.

How to get there: Within the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. From the junction of Highways 47 and 51 in Woodruff, go north on 51 6.9 miles, then west on Woods Road two miles to the north end of Camp Lake. Boat access is afforded at a landing 0.7 miles farther along Woods Road. Visit Camp Lake and Pines for maps and more information.