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Bogus Swamp

No. 287


Photo by Thomas A. Meyer/DNR


The aptly named Bogus Swamp is an extensive variety of northern wetland types, but none are remotely swamp. Featured is a large muskeg of stunted, scattered black spruce and tamarack over a groundcover of sphagnum, sedges, and ericads. Community composition changes as one moves from north to south; along the northern boundary flows an intermittent mineral-rich stream with associated emergent aquatics dominated by cat-tails, bog birch, and leather-leaf that grades into a lake sedge and leather-leaf-dominated community.

South of this zone is an unusual patterned bog, one of only two well-developed examples of this type in Wisconsin. Mineral-rich water flowing into the wetland from the stream permits the development of linear, open-water tracts called flarks that alternate with narrow zones of vegetation, or strings, on a mat of sphagnum. Topographically higher areas of the strings are dominated by tamarack, bog laurel, and bog birch. Rare plants found here include four sedges. Noteworthy among the breeding birds are the palm warbler and Lincoln's sparrow, here at the southern limits of their breeding range. Bogus Swamp is owned by Langlade 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 SNA has multiple landowners: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the landowner. In general, most DNR-owned land allows hunting and trapping. Partner-owned land may have other rules (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 Langlade County Forest. Langlade County. T33N-R10E, Section 14, 15, 22, 23, 24, 26. 870 acres.

Driving directions

The area is best seen by boat. For walk-in access: from Riverside, go north on 35 across the bridge 0.7 miles, then east on Big Island Road 0.3 miles to an access lane. Cross the stream and walk south onto the island.

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]

Bogus Swamp is owned by: Langlade County