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Blue Swamp

No. 285



Blue Swamp features a large acid peatland comprised of central poor fen and northern wet forest communities that drain in two directions, to the North and the South Fork of the Eau Claire River. The major plant communities present are a tamarack-dominated conifer swamp and a brushy meadow dominated by sedges and bog birch. Beaked, American woolly-fruit, and few-seeded sedges with blue-joint grass, leather-leaf, marsh fern, steeplebush, and blue-flag iris dominate the sedge meadow.

The large, acidic conifer swamp is dominated by tamarack and black spruce which rises abruptly in the eastern part of the wetland and a tall shrub zone of speckled alder, black chokeberry, Labrador-tea, huckleberry, and mountain holly occurs along the upland edges. Low shrubs include small cranberry, velvet-leaf blueberry, and creeping snowberry. Other characteristic species include three-seeded sedge, muck sedge, false mayflower, and tussock cottongrass. Blue Swamp is owned by Clark County and was designated a State Natural Area in 1995.

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 located under the Map 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.

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.


Within Clark County Forest. Clark County. T27N-R4W, Sections 16, 20, 21, 27, 28, 33. 560 acres.

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highway 29, 73, and County Highway M in Thorp, go south on M for 8.5 miles, then west on MM for 3.5 miles, then south on a logging road 1 mile to the site. The natural area encompasses the open meadow.

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]

Blue Swamp is owned by: Clark County