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Myklebust Lake

No. 179


Photo by Thomas A. Meyer/DNR


Mykelbust Lake features a deep, 20-acre marl-bottomed lake with an undeveloped shoreline and exceptionally clear water provided by numerous springs. A narrow wetland fringe of bur-reed and hard-stemmed bulrush surrounds the lake and along the one-half-mile outlet stream which flows into the South Branch of the Little Wolf River. Wild celery and water star grass inhabit the high quality, swift current of the outlet and the macro-algae Chara is abundant on the lake bottom.

The lake’s macrophyte community is diverse and contains emergent aquatics such as white water-lily, bull-head pond-lily, arrowhead, flowering rush, wild rice, seven-angle pipewort, quillwort and several pondweeds. A northern wet forest of tamarack, red maple, and elm borders the outlet stream and contains a diverse understory of bog birch, poison sumac, and shrubby cinquefoil with rush aster, Kalm’s lobelia, and nodding lady’s tresses.

A 2-acre black spruce bog is found in the southeast corner while the east shore contains a small stand of large white pine, some more than two feet in diameter. The remainder of the uplands is a mixture of second-growth northern hardwoods. The lake supports an excellent northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish fishery. Teal and wood ducks frequent the stream. Myklebust Lake is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1982.

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].


Waupaca County. T23N-R11E, Sections 2, 11. 170 acres.

Driving directions

From the junction of State Highways 161 and 49 in Iola, go south on 49 for 1.1 miles to a parking area west of the road. Walk west along an access lane to a carry-in canoe landing.

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]

Myklebust Lake is owned by: Wisconsin DNR