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Ohmart Wetlands

No. 651


Photo by Randy Hoffman


Situated within a large glacial lake basin between Long Lake and Chain Lake, Lowell Ohmart Wetlands supports an extensive wetland complex of marsh and forested wetlands with scattered upland islands of northern white cedar. This site lies within the Chippewa Moraine glacial landscape and provides a natural link to other protected county and state lands. Running through the site is Cedar Creek, a low-gradient muck-bottomed stream and inlet to Chain Lake where it provides spawning ground for musky and northern pike.

The stream also feeds an extensive emergent marsh that supports beds of wild rice and is heavily used by ducks and other waterfowl. Surrounding the stream is a sedge meadow intermixed with drier hummocks that support black ash, tamarack, spruce, white pine, and white cedar. To the east are uplands of alder, ash, and balsam fir. Lowell Ohmart was responsible for acquiring and preserving this wetland that was subsequently acquired by the West Wisconsin Land Trust (WWLT). The wetland complex was protected through the combined efforts of the West Wisconsin Land Trust, local citizens, the Chippewa Valley Outdoor Resource Alliance (CVORA), local lakes groups, and the Ohmart family.

Funding was provided by the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund, Chippewa County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, & CVORA. WWLT transferred the property to the Department of Natural Resources and the site was designated a State Natural Area in 2011.

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.

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. For more information, see Wis. Admin. Code NR 45 [exit DNR]. For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

Allowable activities: DNR-owned land

The activities listed below are generally allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted above and posted with signs on the property site.

Prohibited activities: all SNAs

Although a handful of sites allow activities like primitive camping (e.g. Lower Chippewa River on sand bars) or horseback riding (e.g. S. Kettle Moraine), the activities listed below are generally prohibited on DNR-owned 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
  • Drones: Flying-related activities, including the use of drones, hang-gliders and model airplanes, are prohibited. Permission may be issued by the SNA Program for the use of drones for educational or research purposes
  • 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. T32N-9W, Sections 1, 12, 13. 717 acres.

Driving directions

The best access is by boat via Chain Lake. Winter access is also provided via county land to the southwest and adjacent to Round Lake County Park off 117th Street.

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]

Ohmart Wetlands is owned by: Wisconsin DNR