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Namekagon Fen

No. 476


Photo by Aaron Carlson


Situated within a depression of stagnation moraine is Namekagon Fen, an undisturbed, diverse fen community of sphagnum mosses, ericaceous shrubs, sedges, and insectivorous plants. Nested within the fen are several irregularly shaped pools (7 large, numerous small) supporting an extremely rich flora typical of both bogs and fens suggesting the possible existence of a nutrient or pH gradient and the influence of calcium-rich water percolating through the system. Beds of bog-club moss are found where the moss is not thick.

The fen is dominated by white beak rush with high numbers of pitcher plants and thousands of horned bladderwort. Other plants are few-seeded sedge, cotton grass, water bulrush, sundews, northern St. John's wort, bog buckbean, water shield, and rattlesnake manna grass. A small stand of swamp conifers with black spruce and tamarack bordered by common yellow lake sedge is found in the northern part of the site. The edges are shrubby with alder, mountain-holly, and common winterberry. Ericaceous species are common with bog-laurel, bog rosemary, leatherleaf, and blueberry. Birds include common yellowthroat and olive-sided flycatchers. Namekagon Fen is owned by the US Forest Service and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

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 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 Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Bayfield County. T43N-R6W, Section 27. 41 acres.

Driving directions

The site is located 9 miles east of Cable, WI. From Cable, go east on County M approximately 9 miles, then go south on FR 203 0.5 miles for access to the west side of the site. The east side of the site is easily accessed by FR 200.

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]

Namekagon Fen is owned by: US Forest Service