Skip to main content

Muskego Park Hardwoods

No. 112


Photo by Josh Mayer


Muskego Park Hardwoods is an old-growth southern dry-mesic forest dominated by white and red oaks on a gently sloping southeast slope. Occasional large sugar maples occur along with a mixture of other trees such as bitternut hickory, shagbark hickory, butternut, walnut, white ash, basswood, black cherry, ironwood, and species typically found farther south. The southeast corner has a lowland forest with some elm and hackberry. The spring flora is exceptionally rich and contains wild leek, toothwort, bloodroot, declined trillium, reflexed trillium, green dragon, and red baneberry. The large populations of sweet cicely, honewort, black snakeroot, and wood avens are indicative of past grazing. Small woodland ponds lie in the northwest portion. Summer bird populations are representative of southern hardwoods. Muskego Park Hardwoods is owned by Waukesha County and was designated a state natural area in December 1973.

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, topographic map, or 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 valuable 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.


Waukesha County. T5N-R20E, Section 17 E½NW¼. 62 acres.

Driving directions

From the intersection of County Highway L and County Highway Y in southwest Muskego, go west on County Highway L nearly 1 mile to the entrance of Muskego County Park. The natural area is in the eastern half of the park and can be accessed by park trails. There is an admission fee for Waukesha County Parks.

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]

Muskego Park Hardwoods is owned by: Waukesha County