Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of natural area © Thomas A. Meyer

Stately hemlocks and white pines grace the snow-bound Patterson Hemlocks State Natural Area in Oneida and Vilas counties.
© Thomas A. Meyer

December 2009

Wisconsin, naturally

Patterson Hemlocks State Natural Area

Notable: A prime example of a mature northern mesic forest dominated by large-diameter hemlock, yellow birch and white pine situated between Clear and Fuller lakes. Standing snags, downed wood, tip-up mounds, ephemeral pools and a thick duff layer accentuate the natural area’s old-growth appearance. The understory vegetation of ferns, club mosses and other shade tolerant species is somewhat sparse due to reduced light at ground level. Resident nesting birds include the pileated woodpecker, Blackburnian warbler and the state threatened red-shouldered hawk.

How to get there: From the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and State Highway 70 in Woodruff, go west on Highway 70 just over 13 miles, then south on West Clear Lake Road one mile to the northern boundary of the site. Park along the road. (Do not confuse West Clear Lake Rd. with East Clear Lake Ln., which lies 0.8 mile to the east). See Patterson Hemlocks for more information.