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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Lemonweir Bottomland Hardwood Forest (No. 390)

Lemonweir Bottomland Hardwood Forest

Photo by Josh Mayer



Juneau County. T15N-R5E, Sections 14, 23. 323 acres.



Located at the confluence of the Wisconsin and Lower Lemonweir Rivers, Lemonweir Bottomland Hardwood Forest is an expanse of floodplain forest of silver maple, river birch, green ash, swamp white oak, hackberry, and cottonwood. The extensive forest is laced with swales, running sloughs, and oxbow lakes. The forest is maturing and developing old-growth structure attributes such as large trees, standing snags, tip-ups, and downed course woody debris. The understory is diverse with an assemblage of native grasses and sedges, gray-headed coneflower, and wood nettle. Thickets of buttonbush and dogwood border many of the open swales. The site provides important breeding and migratory habitat for many rare and declining birds. Other species are wood duck, osprey, broad-winged hawk, black-billed cuckoo, wood thrush, ovenbird, and scarlet tanager. Lemonweir Bottomland Hardwood Forest is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2003.


Driving directions

From the intersection of 82 and County HH in southeast Juneau County, go south on County HH 0.6 miles, then east on Arens Road 0.5 mile to the western boundary.


Lemonweir Bottomland Hardwood Forest 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 floodplain forest reserve, an aquatic reserve, and an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the forest. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native floodplain forests.

Management approach

The native species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the site. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress fires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • The old field was planted to native prairie plants, and will be maintained with periodic burning.
  • The former building sites will also be planted to native prairie plants.
  • The pine plantation will be thinned and harvested, and converted to native prairie.


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: Thursday, October 11, 2018