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No. 623



Located on nearly level topography just south of the Willow River, Cylon features woods and sedge meadows with an interesting mix of both northern and southern plant species. This mix of species occurs due to the site's location near Wisconsin's vegetation "tension zone", a band running from northwest Wisconsin to the southeast. It is largely determined by climactic factors. Within this zone, both southern and northern species can be found. The closed canopy forest is composed of large Hill's oak, white oak, and bur oak with basswood, red maple, and white pine.

Red maple and American elm are common in the sapling layer. Ironwood dominates the sub-canopy layer and hazelnut and blackberry in the shrub layer. The ground flora includes such species as sweet cicely, tick-trefoil, enchanter's nightshade, black snakeroot, large-flowered trillium, maidenhair fern, wild strawberry, Canada mayflower, and partridgeberry. The sedge meadow is comprised of wire-leaved sedges mixed with broad-leaved white meadowsweet and steeplebush. Birds using the area include wood duck, ruffed grouse, broad-winged hawk, ovenbird, and red-eyed vireo. Cylon 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. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or 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. For more information, see Wis. Admin. Code NR 45 [exit DNR]. For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

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 below and posted with signs on the property site.

Prohibited activities: all SNAs

Although a handful of sites allow activities like primitive camping (e.g. Lower Chippewa River on sand bars) or horseback riding (e.g. S. Kettle Moraine), the activities listed below are generally prohibited on DNR-owned 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
  • Drones: Flying-related activities, including the use of drones, hang-gliders and model airplanes, are prohibited. Permission may be issued by the SNA Program for the use of drones for educational or research purposes
  • Geocaching
  • 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 Cylon Wildlife Area, St. Croix County. T31N-R16W, Sections 9, 14, 16. 155 acres.

Driving directions

Local roads and wildlife parking areas provide access to the three natural area parcels. See maps for details. From Deer Park, go south on Highway 46 for 1.5 miles, then east on 210th Avenue nearly one mile to a DNR parking area. Walk north and west 0.35 miles into the natural area. Or from Deer Park, go south on Highway 46 for 1.5 miles, then east on 210th Avenue for one mile, then south on 220th Street, then east on 200th Avenue for 3 miles, then north on 250th Street for 1.3 miles. The natural area lies west of the road.

The DNR's state natural areas program comprises 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]

Cylon is owned by: Wisconsin DNR