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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Grassy Lake (No. 548)

Grassy Lake

Photo by Josh Mayer



Within Grassy Lake State Wildlife Area, Columbia County. T11N-R11E, Sections 14, 15. 292 acres.



Situated within rolling morainal topography, Grassy Lake is a shallow, hard-water seepage lake that supports dense stands of emergent aquatic vegetation throughout its basin. Soft-stem bulrush is the dominant species with wool-grass, common bur-reed, narrow-leaved bur-reed, water horsetail, and water dock. Submerged aquatics include coon's-tail, common waterweed, whorled water milfoil, white water crowfoot, common arrowhead, and northern bladderwort. The wetlands and surrounding uplands provide good habitat for a number of birds including sandhill crane, wood duck, blue-winged teal, mallard, coot, pied-billed grebe, and marsh wren. Grassy Lake is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.


Driving directions

From the intersection of Lincoln Street and County A in Doylestown, go west on Lincoln Street 0.3 miles, then continue on Otsego Road 0.7 miles. The site lies west of the road.


Grassy Lake 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 an aquatic preserve and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the aquatic communities and associated uplands. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality aquatic communities.

Management approach

The native aquatic and upland species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the lake. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, installation of nesting platforms, and maintenance of existing facilities.

Site-specific considerations

  • Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township and county.
  • Boat launch is maintained to Department standards.


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: Thursday, October 11, 2018