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One Stone Lake Hemlocks

No. 629


Photo by Randy Hoffman


Situated along the northern boundary of Thunder Lake Wildlife Area and the Rice Lake natural area, One Stone Lake Hemlocks supports stands of mature mesic forest with some old-growth characteristics. The canopy is heavily dominated by hemlock with associated species of yellow birch, sugar maple, and white cedar. A few super-canopy white pines are present. Most canopy gaps contain sugar maple; however, hemlock is reproducing well near the lakeshore and locally through the site. The herbaceous layer varies from sparse to luxuriant.

Characteristic species include Canada mayflower, intermediate wood-fern, shining clubmoss, American starflower, three-leaved goldthread, and wood sorrel. This site is part of one of the largest wetland complexes within the north-central region. Surrounding One Stone Lake are extensive, open peatlands including open bog, muskeg, and poor fen which support good populations of area-sensitive peatland birds. The forested wetlands also include extensive good-quality stands of white cedar and black ash with tamarack being locally important. This entire area has been identified as a Land Legacy site. One Stone Lake Hemlocks is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2010.

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].


Oneida County. T39N-R10E, Sections 21, 27, 28. 342 acres.

Driving directions

Winter access is best by snowshoeing or x-country skiing from the Rice Lake boat landing. From the intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and County Highway A in Three Lakes, go north on Highway 45 for 1 mile, then west on Rice Lake Road 2.4 miles to the boat launch on the east shore of Rice Lake. Walk north through the Thunder Lake Wildlife Area 1.5 miles, across/around two drainage ditches and into the site.

Note: The westernmost ½ mile of Rice Lake Road is under construction (2010) and may be impassable during winter.

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]

One Stone Lake Hemlocks is owned by: Wisconsin DNR