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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Eagle Oak Opening (No. 66)

Eagle Oak Opening

Photo by Josh Mayer



Within the Southern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest, Waukesha County. T5N-R17E, Section 30. 104 acres.



Eagle Oak Opening was the first oak opening found in a statewide search and contains an example of kettle hole moraine topography and large numbers of open-grown white and bur oaks. Most of the former oak opening has reverted to dry-mesic forest but there are areas where some of these prairie species can still be found. Species include big and little blue-stem, Indian grass, side-oats grama, prairie drop-seed, blue-eyed grass, prairie buttercup, alum-root, prairie smoke, New Jersey tea, bird's-foot and prairie violets, shooting-star, pale-spiked lobelia, white camas, goldenrods, and asters. There is also a showy display of pasque flowers in the spring. The area has many glacial formations including kettle holes with ephemeral ponds. Eagle Oak Opening is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1968.


Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 59 and Z four miles west of Eagle, go south on County Z 1 mile to a small pull-off area east of the road. Walk south along the road to an access/equestrian trail leading east until the trail forks. Take the left fork northeast into the site.


Eagle Oak Opening 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