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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Newport Conifer-Hardwoods (No. 90)

Newport Conifer-Hardwoods

Photo by Josh Mayer



Within Newport State Park, Door County. T32N-R29E, Sections 20, 21, 28, 29, 32, 33. 539 acres.



Newport Conifer Hardwoods features a mix of northern forest types along Lake Michigan near the northern tip of the Door Peninsula. The cool, moist influence of the lake has allowed a forest composed of white birch, sugar maple, beech, and ash to develop. Elsewhere, boreal-like forest of Eastern hemlock, balsam fir, white spruce and white cedar predominates. A 3-to-8-foot-high wall of dolomite blocks traverses the site from the northeast to the southwest. This ledge is the former shoreline sculpted during the Lake Nippissing stage of Lake Michigan. Above the ledge, hardwoods are found growing on a jumbled boulder substrate. In the south and east, the hardwood forests stabilize low sand dunes where large colonies of club-moss can be observed. About ¼ mile of frontage on Lake Michigan is included in the natural area. Newport Conifer Hardwoods is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1971.


Driving directions

From Ellison Bay, go east on State Highway 42 about 2 miles, then south and east on County Highway NP about 3 miles to the Newport State Park entrance. The natural area is accessible via the Newport and Ridge hiking trails (get a map at the park contact station). A Wisconsin State Park sticker must be displayed on all vehicles entering the park.


Newport Conifer-Hardwoods 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