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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Wyalusing Walnut Forest (No. 89)

Wyalusing Walnut Forest

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Within Wyalusing State Park, Grant County. T6N-R6W, Sections 17, 18. 135 acres.



Wyalusing Walnut Forest lies on the north face of a steep, 500 foot-high bluff overlooking the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. It features a continuum of forest types from wet, floodplain forest of silver maple and cottonwood at the bluff's base to dry oak woods with white and black oak at its summit. The mid-slope and rich soils around the cliff base are forested with southern mesic forest of red oak, sugar maple, hackberry, butternut, and a high number of black walnuts. Two areas contain nearly pure stands of black walnut. On the vertical cliffs above the Wisconsin River are a variety of species including Canada yew, and Sullivant's cool-wort. Spring wildflowers abound. The site supports numerous rare animals and a diverse avifauna with over 250 species recorded. Wyalusing Walnut Forest is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1971.


Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 18 and 60 in Bridgeport, go east on 18 1.3 miles, then west on County Highway C 3.5 miles, then west on County Highway X 1.1 mile, then north into Wyalusing State Park on the park road 1.7 miles to the nature center parking lot. Get a park map at the visitor center. The Bluff and Sentinel Ridge trail provides access to the natural area.


Wyalusing Walnut 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.


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