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Mondeaux Hardwoods

No. 461


Photo by L. Parker


Mondeaux Hardwoods is a large site that includes a wide variety of plant communities including northern mesic, wet-mesic, and wet forest, alder thicket, northern sedge meadow, ephemeral pond, springs and spring runs, and aquatic plant communities. Along the Mondeaux River is an extensive mesic forest composed of hemlock, yellow birch, sugar maple, red maple, and basswood. In mature stands, trees exceeding 20 inches in diameter are common.

A white pine super-canopy still occurs in some stands with trees more than 30 inches in diameter. These hemlock and white pine stands are some of the oldest and largest in the Park Falls-Medford District. The sapling and shrub layer is generally sparse under the closed canopy. Little hemlock reproduction is occurring. Characteristic ground layer species include marginal wood fern, Canada mayflower, wild sarsaparilla, rough-leaved rice grass, and wood anemone. Located on gently rolling, moderately well-drained ground moraine is a northern hardwood forest although areas in the south contain poorly-drained ground and there is hummocky terrain to the east.

These stands are younger than those with a prominent hemlock component. Sugar maple is dominant with associated species including yellow birch, red maple, and bitternut hickory. Ironwood and eastern hop-hornbeam are common in the understory. The ground flora includes rich site indicator species such as Virginia water-leaf, sweet cicely, maidenhair fern, and bloodroot. A wet-mesic forest occurs mainly in two long bands paralleling the Mondeaux River Flowage and esker. The forest contains a usual species composition with a mix of black ash, white cedar, red maple, yellow birch, and in some places, balsam fir. Canopy gaps are common and the high-nutrient conditions favor dense understories.

Shrub and small trees include alder, mountain maple, Ribes species, red-osier dogwood, American fly-honeysuckle, common winterberry, and alder-leaf buckthorn. The ground flora is diverse with cinnamon fern, dwarf red raspberry, sedges, poison ivy, spinulose wood fern, northern bugleweed, and bryophytes. Where hemlock is present common species are three-leaved goldthread, mountain wood-sorrel, bunchberry, and yellow blue-bead lily. Bog forest of tamarack in association with black spruce, occurs in widely scattered locations, often at the heads of drainages. Red maple, paper birch, and white pine are frequent associates.

Ground layers consists mainly of sphagnum, Americans, and cinnamon fern, one-sided shinleaf, and false mayflower. Moccasin-flower, bog buckbean, and pitcher plant are of local occurrence. Avifauna includes raven, pileated woodpecker, winter wren, hermit thrush, blackburnian, chestnut-sided, and black-throated green warblers, northern waterthrush, and scarlet tanager. Mondeaux Hardwoods is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007. This site is also recognized by the Forest Service as an established Research Natural Area.

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.

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. More details regarding allowable uses of this non-DNR-owned SNA may be noted above and posted with signs on the property site.

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 Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Taylor County. T32-R1W, Section 1. T33N-R1W, Sections 13,14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 35, 36. 2,826 acres.

Driving directions

From the junction of Highways 13 and D in Westboro, go west on D for about 6.5 miles, then south on FR 104 (Mondeaux Drive) for one mile, then west on FR 106 (Park Road) for one mile to the Mondeaux Dam area and the northeast boundary of the site.

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]

Mondeaux Hardwoods is owned by: US Forest Service