Johnson Wildlife Area
Johnson Wildlife Area is a 213-acre property located in northern St. Croix County on the Polk County line. The property is split into two parcels located within 1/2 mile of each other — an 84-acre grassland/wetland complex and a 129-acre grassland/oak savanna complex. The land was purchased in 2001 as a part of the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area and consists primarily of grassland (262 acres) and wetland habitat (18 acres). A small remnant oak savanna is located on the eastern property giving a good representation of the habitat that was historically located in the area. The property is managed as part of the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area, a landscape scale wetland and grassland restoration project.
The property is located approximately 5 miles east of Star Prairie. Follow County Highway H east out of Star Prairie for 5 miles, then turn north on 185th Street for 1/2 mile. The western 84 acres is located on the west side of 185th Street. To access the eastern 129 acres, proceed east on 235th Avenue for approximately 10.5 miles. A parking lot is located off of 235th Avenue.
The property is managed to provide opportunities for public hunting, trapping, wildlife observation and other nature-based outdoor recreation. A large-scale grassland restoration effort went underway in 2016 to convert a former pine plantation back to native prairie grasses. After the completion of the restoration, management objectives will aim to maintain an open grassland community through prescribed fire, mechanical and chemical control of woody species and limited haying and grazing. Populations of invasive species are controlled or eliminated by cutting, pulling, burning, herbicide treatment and/or bio-control.
For more information on master planning for this and other wildlife areas around the state, visit the property planning page.
The Johnson Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:
- Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
- Falconry (by permit);
- Wild edible/gathering; and
- Wildlife viewing.
Download a map of the Johnson East property.
Download an aerial view of the Johnson East property.
Download a map of the Johnson West property.
Download an aerial view of the Johnson West property.
- Useful links
Find out more about how to adopt this wildlife area.