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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Upper Tomahawk River Pines (No. 239)



Oneida County. T38N-R5E, Sections 11, 12, 14, 15, 22, 23, 27. 842 acres.



Upper Tomahawk River Pines features several undisturbed stands of large red pine located along a wild and undeveloped reach of the Tomahawk River. The even-aged pines originated following wildfire and are gradually succeeding to white pines, which dominate the understory. The pines are growing on elevated islands separated from the forested uplands by vast wetlands of alder shrub swamp and swamp conifers. These isolated red pine islands provide nesting sites for bald eagles and harbor a characteristic groundlayer with bracken fern, wintergreen, and barren strawberry. Alder thickets cover most of the wetlands on both sides of the Tomahawk River with a few areas of tamarack and black spruce. The meandering Tomahawk River is a slow, warm, soft water stream containing a diverse snail fauna in the muck bottom but with relatively few aquatic plants. Birds include gray jay, boreal chickadee, alder flycatcher, veery, and pine warbler. Upper Tomahawk River Pines is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1990.


Driving directions

The natural area is best accessed by canoe or kayak via the Tomahawk River. From the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and Oneida Street in Hazelhurst, go west on Oneida Street 0.3 mile, then west on Lower Kaubashine Road 4.2 miles, then west on Camp Nine Road 0.8 mile to the Tomahawk River. Paddle 6 miles downstream through the natural area and take out at Cedar Falls Road.


Upper Tomahawk River Pines 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