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Deer Fly Swamp

No. 631


Photo by Aaron Carlson


Situated within uneven-end moraine, Deer Fly Swamp is a high-quality white pine swamp in a perched, shallow depression occupying the headwaters of Fish Pole Lake. This natural community type - a white pine/red maple swamp is rare in Wisconsin and even rarer within this morainal landscape. Most are concentrated in and around the bed of extinct Glacial Lake Wisconsin in the Central Sand Plains Ecological Landscape. White pine and tamarack are the canopy and subcanopy dominants with red maple, yellow birch, and black spruce as associates.

Trees range from 8-24 inches in diameter. The shrub / sub-shrub layers are diverse and moderately dense with winterberry, mountain-holly, and huckleberry most prevalent. The stand has fair development of structure with coarse woody debris, snags and tip-ups, and microtopography; the site goal is to encourage old-growth characteristics. About 25% of the area is mucky water-filled hollows and the remainder Sphagnum-dominated hummocks. Cinnamon fern and three-leaved false Solomon's seal are the dominant herbs. Deer Fly Swamp is owned by Chippewa County 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 usually 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.

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. 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 the Chippewa County Forest, Chippewa County. T31N-R8W, Sections 1, 2. 20 acres.

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highway 64 and County CC in Cornell, go north on County CC for 5.3 miles, then west on County M for 5.7 miles, then south on Deer Fly Trail for 4.2 miles. The site is west of the road.

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]

Deer Fly Swamp is owned by: Chippewa County