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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Miscauno Cedar Swamp (No. 92)

Miscauno Cedar Swamp

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Within the Miscauno Wildlife Area, Marinette County. T36N-R20E, Sections 13, 14, 23, 24. 546 acres.



Miscauno Cedar Swamp features a northern wet-mesic forest in a steep-sided basin along the South Branch of Miscauno Creek. The timber varies from nearly pure stands of pole-sized white cedar to mixtures of white cedar, balsam fir, and black spruce with black ash and elm along the stream. Tamarack snags indicate a former forest of this species and which was undoubtedly logged in the past. The surrounding uplands are mainly an aspen-oak and pine cutover forest. The groundlayer is rich in smaller orchid species along with one-flowered pyrola, bunchberry, American starflower, yellow blue-bead-lily, gaywings, Canada mayflower, and several ferns. In the numerous headwater springs is a rich flora of mosses and lichens. Breeding bird surveys have shown that such uncommon birds such as ravens, hermit thrush, black and white warbler, pine warbler, scarlet tanager, and black-billed cuckoo are found during the nesting season. Although the lowlands have been logged they still retain natural conditions. The swamp was also the site of a 20-year research study looking at the effects of cedar thinning. Miscauno Cedar Swamp is owned by the DNR and was designated in 1971.


Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highway 141 and County Highway Z in Beecher, go east on Z 1.6 miles, then south on Miscauno Lane 0.25 miles to the northwest corner of the site.


Miscauno Cedar Swamp is owned by:

  • WDNR


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.


Site objectives

Manage the site as a northern wet-mesic forest reserve, an aquatic reserve, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the northern wet-mesic forest and stream. In addition canopy and understory manipulation in the northern dry forest will be prescribed. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native northern wet-mesic forests.

Management approach

In the northern wet-mesic forest, the native species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine their ecological characteristics. In the northern dry forest, the native dominant tree species (primarily pines and oaks) are managed to maintain the cover type. However, forest harvest in the uplands needs to assure that the wetlands are not affected, and that old forest is promoted by using extended rotations. Across the entire site, allowable activities include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event in the wetlands is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • The plantation will be thinned and harvested, and conversion to northern pine forest will be promoted.


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.

Allowable activities

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.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), 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
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

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Last revised: Friday, July 06, 2018