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Pickerel Lake Fen

No. 209


Photo by Josh Mayer


Pickerel Lake Fen is a diverse alkaline fen that originates at the base of a glacial ridge from seeps and springs. The fen has a rich flora and is quite large for a calcareous fen. Shrub encroachment is confined largely to the first 25 meters bordering the upland. Downslope, towards Pickerel Lake, the fen becomes quaking and eventually grades into rushes and cattails. Unusual plant assemblages are found including large populations of shrubby cinquefoil, pitcher plant, sedges, bulrushes, and blue-joint grass. Showy species such as marsh blue violet, swamp milkweed, Joe-Pye weed, boneset, and several goldenrods are common. The uplands are no longer farmed and now show evidence of invasion by prairie plants. The site has been used for foraging by sandhill cranes. Pickerel Lake Fen is owned by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and was designated a State Natural Area in 1986.

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for various 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.

Permission to access this site must be obtained from the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. For hunting opportunities on Nature Conservancy land, visit The Nature Conservancy's Deer Management [exit DNR].

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.


Walworth County. T4N-R17E, Sections 12, 13, 14, 24. 136 acres.

Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 20, County Hwy. N, and Pickerel Lake Rd., 1.5 miles west of East Troy, proceed north on Pickerel Lake Rd. 0.4 mile to the southwest corner of the site.

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]

Pickerel Lake Fen is owned by: The Nature Conservancy