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Marsh Miller Cedars

No. 602


Photo by Mary VanFossen


Situated on gentle glacial topography, Marsh Miller Cedars features extensive wetland communities along the west side of Marsh Miller Lake. The lake itself is a 436-acre millpond with a maximum depth of 14 feet. The majority of the area is a northern wet-mesic forest dominated by white cedar with inclusions of black spruce, tamarack, and balsam fir.

Tree sizes vary across the landscape with some areas dominated by smaller trees and others by larger trees. One white cedar was previously aged at being 140 years old. The understory is variable depending on the water table with naked stemmed miterwort, American starflower, three-leaved goldthread, yellow blue bead lily, cinnamon fern, royal fern, and sensitive fern.

Two small pockets of hardwood swamp with yellow birch snags and associated coarse woody debris are found within the forest. Fringing the lake edge is tamarack, black spruce, alder, bog birch, and winterberry grading into a sedge meadow with Labrador tea, marsh marigold, bluejoint grass, and marsh bellflower. Birds include bald eagle, common yellowthroat, great blue heron, and swamp sparrow. Marsh Miller Cedars is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2009.

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. 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: Except for 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.

Allowable activities: DNR-owned land

In general, the activities listed below are 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

  • 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
  • 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].


Chippewa County. T31N-R8W, Section 20. 97 acres.

Driving directions

The natural area is only accessible by water.

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]

Marsh Miller Cedars is owned by: Wisconsin DNR