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Bass Lake Preserve

No. 211


Photo by Aaron Carlson


Situated within a landscape of gently rolling pitted outwash, Bass Lake Preserve contains a small, 15-acre, undeveloped soft-water seepage lake, which still retains wilderness characteristics. The lake is slightly alkaline with the light brown water of moderate transparency, has a maximum depth of 20 feet, and contains a largemouth bass and panfish fishery. Surrounding the lake is a narrow band of conifer bog of black spruce and tamarack with some white cedar and alder found in the wetlands.

The bog supports a wide range of plants including seven-angled pipewort, moccasin flower and pitcher plant. The conifer bog rises to uplands that are covered by a second-growth northern mesic forest of sugar maple and hemlock. These vary in quality with a few stands of old-growth hemlock and super-canopy white and red pine scattered throughout. Other trees include yellow birch, red pine, white pine, jack pine, red maple and red oak. Birds present include raven, red-breasted nuthatch, pine grosbeak and osprey. Bass Lake Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy and was designated a State Natural Area in 1986.

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 "Recreation" 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.

Non-DNR lands

Entrance fees: For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the landowner. Partner-owned land may have other rules than DNR (for example, university-owned lands do not allow hunting or trapping). Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the Resources tab.

This preserve is open to deer hunting:  See more [exit DNR]

Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.


Iron County. T41N-R4E, Section 29, 30, 32. 841 acres.

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highways 47 and 182, about 4 miles south of Manitowish, go south and west on Highway 182 for 7.1 miles, then east and south on Ferry Road for 1.5 miles, then east and south on Bearskull Road for 2.2 miles, then north on Randall Lake Road 0.5 mile to the entrance road and gate. Walk 0.5 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

Property map [PDF]


Bass Lake Preserve is owned by:  The Nature Conservancy