LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Donate to the Natural Heritage Conservation
a natural area by name.
a natural area by county.
Explore outdoors
and find places to go.
Use our interactive map
to find natural areas.
and help care for SNAs.
Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Bakken's Pond (No. 247)

Bakken's Pond

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Within the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, Sauk County. T8N-R3E, Sections 9, 16. 153 acres.



Bakken's Pond features a cold spring-fed stream with diverse invertebrate and fish fauna and contains emergent aquatic, southern sedge meadow and oak barren communities. The springs are quite small and scattered - often no larger than a quarter in size. Bordering the stream to the south is an extensive wet meadow consisting predominantly of bluejoint grass, sedges, and the invasive reed canary grass. Scattered woody vegetation interrupts the extensive sedge meadow with willows, alders, elms, and silver maple. This patchy woody vegetation later grades into a substantial bottomland forest bordering the Wisconsin River. Also present around the wet area southeast of the dike are vast colonies of pickerel-weed and horned pondweed is found in the cold waters of the pond. Bakken's Pond is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1991.


Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and State Highway 23 north of Spring Green, go west on Highway 14 3.0 miles, then south on Dyke Road 0.6 mile, then west on Kennedy Road 0.6 mile. Park along the road and walk south into the natural area.


Bakken's Pond 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 preserve for emergent aquatics, southern sedge meadow and sand/oak barrens, as an aquatic preserve and wetland protection site, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes and prescribed understory manipulation (see below) will determine the structure of the barrens, wetland and aquatic communities. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native wetland and aquatic communities.

Management approach

The wetland and aquatic species are managed passively. The native barrens species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and limited fire (burns every 5-7 years) to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Occasional fire-tolerant oaks and native shrubs may be retained at low densities. Other allowable activities include control of invasive plants and animals, and access to suppress wildfires.

Site-specific considerations

  • Roadside and railroad easement areas may be managed sporadically by township/state and railroad company.
  • A former pine plantation in the north unit was thinned and harvested, and is undergoing conversion to sand/oak barrens.


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
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • 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]

Back to Top

Last revised: Friday, December 15, 2017