Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of natural area © Thomas A. Meyer

Low-angled winter sun casts long shadows at Lower Tomahawk River Pines State Natural Area in Oneida County.
© Thomas A. Meyer

February 2010

Wisconsin, naturally

Lower Tomahawk River Pines State Natural Area

Notable: Lower Tomahawk River Pines features mature stands of dry-mesic pine forest, a natural community historically prevalent over large portions of this ecoregion, which is now rare. Understory plant species include pipsissewa, bunchberry, trailing arbutus, wintergreen, twinflower, shining clubmoss and bracken fern. The Tomahawk River, which bisects the natural area, provides clean, fast-flowing stream habitat for the larval form of the state-threatened pygmy snaketail dragonfly. Wetlands in the river floodplain include patches of northern sedge meadow, alder thicket and tamarack swamp, along with scattered groves of silver maples. Golden-crowned kinglet, yellow-bellied sapsucker, pine warbler and yellow-rumped warbler are among the resident bird species found here.

How to get there: From the intersection of County K and Highway 47 north of Rhinelander, go west on K 12.8 miles, then continue west on Swamp Lake Road 2.2 miles, then south on Prairie Lake Road 1.7 miles to the northwest corner of the site. The site is also accessible by canoe via the Tomahawk River. See Lower Tomahawk River Pines for more information.