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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Lake Evelyn (No. 321)

State Natural Area program graphic



Iron County. T44N-R3E, Section 23, 26. 300 acres.



Lake Evelyn is an undeveloped 55-acre soft-water seepage lake surrounded by wetlands and gently rolling uplands. While many of northern Wisconsin lakes of this size are already developed or are planning development, Lake Evelyn is a rare and undeveloped wilderness lake. Of all lakes over 50 acres in Wisconsin only 70 remain that have the majority of their shoreline in public ownership. With a maximum depth of 9 feet, Lake Evelyn is a stained water lake with moderate clarity and contains a good quality fishery composed mainly of large-mouthed bass and panfish. The lake forms the headwaters of Evelyn Creek, a tributary of the Turtle River. The topography is level to rolling and vegetation is a mix of large white and red pine with smaller pole-sized aspen on the uplands. The surrounding wetlands are composed of an open floating leather-leaf bog and a conifer swamp with scattered black spruce to the southwest. An active osprey nest highlights the wildlife community and wolf usage is known to be very active in the general area. Lake Evelyn is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1997.


Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway J in Mercer, go north on Highway 51 9.2 miles, then east on G 4.5 miles, then north on North Bass Lake Road, then immediately west on a small access road 0.1 mile to a boat landing.


Lake Evelyn 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.


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