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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Genesee Oak Opening (No. 153)

Genesee Oak Opening

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Waukesha County. T6N-R18E, Section 28. 50 acres.



Genesee Oak Opening is a classic bur oak opening on rolling, interlobate morainal topography, with open-grown, scattered young trees of moderate size. Numerous small, dry to dry-mesic prairies occur in scattered openings throughout the 15-acre savanna, filled with side-oats grama, big and little blue-stem, pasque flower, rough blazing-star, Indian grass, prairie dock, needle grass, prairie-smoke, and white camas. To the east is a fen with many uncommon plant species. The remainder of the eastern area is disturbed wetland. About one-half mile of Genesee Creek, a fast-flowing, gravel-bottomed stream, flows through the site. Soils on the uplands are Casco and Rodman loams. Genesee Oak Opening is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1979.


Driving directions

From the junction of County E and Highway 59 in North Prairie, go north on 59 2.4 miles, then west on an access lane and park at the small pull-off. Walk west 0.2 miles on the access lane into the natural area.


Genesee Oak Opening 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.


Management objectives and prescriptions


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: Monday, June 10, 2019