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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Rainbow Wetlands (No. 513)


Overview

Location

Within the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, Oneida County. T39N-R8E, Sections 13-16, 20-23, 27, 28, 29. 2,357 acres.

Description

Description

Located south and east of the Rainbow Flowage, an impounded stretch of the Wisconsin River, Rainbow Wetlands features a large peatland of sedge meadow, shrub swamp, open bog, and muskeg. The northern and eastern portions of the peatland support an extensive open bog of sphagnum, sedges, and ericaceous shrubs. Dominant species include few-seeded sedge, bog goldenrod, bog aster, steeple-bush, and Labrador-tea. Toward the interior are leather-leaf, small cranberry, and few-seeded sedge on a dense sphagnum mat. Low sandy islands support stands of jack pine dominated forest. As one moves south and west, the nutrient gradient changes, bog ericads are much less dominant, and the site grades to open meadow with scattered tall shrubs. The sedge meadow is dominated by sedges including American woolly-fruit, beaked, star, and few-seeded sedge, blue-joint grass, and willows including bog, meadow, and balsam willow. Sphagnum mosses are present but are not associated with the usual bog ericads and insectivores. Representative herbs are swamp loosestrife, bog goldenrod, and northern blue-flag iris. The open meadow is interspersed with shrub-carr, marsh, and small islands of tamarack, white pine, paper birch, red maple, and aspen. Birds include sedge wren, swamp sparrow, song sparrow, common yellowthroat, and Nashville warbler. Rainbow Wetlands is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highway 47 and County D in Lake Tomahawk, go east on D 6.2 miles (just past the Swamp Creek crossing). Park and walk north into the site.

Ownership

Rainbow Wetlands is owned by:

  • WDNR

Maps

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.

Recreation

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: Tuesday, December 04, 2018