Photo by Joshua Mayer
Situated just south of Arbutus Lake, Arbutus Oaks supports over one mile of undeveloped lakeshore with both oak and white pine over 90 years of age. Although this SNA is not very large, it is important for its scenic, aquatic, and terrestrial features and two rare birds are known from the area.
Dominant natural communities of this site include a southern dry-mesic forest and a small area of white pine-red maple swamp. Long-term management goals are to provide a large area of structurally and functionally diverse, older, intact and connected forest comprised of old-growth mixed hardwood and conifer species. Management will also focus on preserving coarse woody debris and retaining dead snags for wildlife habitat and structural diversity. Arbutus Oaks is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2010.
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 under the Maps tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.
The good majority of SNAs are isolated and have few or no facilities. Some SNAs have vehicle access lanes or parking lots, but their accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions. Parking lots and lanes are not plowed during winter. Hiking trails may be nonexistent or consist of undeveloped footpaths. A GPS unit or compass and a detailed topographic map are useful tools for exploring larger SNAs.
Entrance fees: Excepting Parfrey's Glen, the Cambrian Outlook in the Dells of the Wisconsin River, SNAs within State Parks and some within State Forests, all other DNR-owned SNAs do not have any admission fees.
NOTE: Per state regulations, hunting is allowed on the DNR-owned SNA lands. However, on lands located within the Village of Rock Springs (see map), the discharge of firearms is prohibited within the village limits. See their Village Ordinance Chapter 4 [exit DNR] for details.
ALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES: DNR-OWNED LAND
The activities listed below are generally allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted above and posted with signs on the property site.
- Cross country skiing
- Scientific research (permit required)
- Outdoor education
- Wild edibles (What is this?)
- Pets (Rules)
- Wildlife viewing
PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES: ALL SNAS
- 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
- 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].
Within the Black River State Forest, Clark County. T23N-R2W, Section 31. T23N-R3W, Sections 35, 36. 215 acres.
From the intersection of County E and K in Hatfield, go south on K for 0.7 miles, then east on Clay School Road for 2.3 miles, then north on Campground Road for 1 mile to the East Fork Recreation Area. Park and then follow the East Fork of the Black River northwest about 0.1 miles into the site.
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. To create your custom map where you can zoom to a specific location, please use the DNR's Mapping Application.
Arbutus Oaks is owned by: Wisconsin DNR