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Putnam Park

No. 134


Photo by Courtesy UW-Eau Claire


Putnam Park consists of natural, mostly forested land that extends in a long curving, narrow strip through the city of Eau Claire. Forested with southern wet-mesic and northern dry-mesic forests, it contains a diverse flora and fauna including a state-threatened plant. Impressive white and red pines dominate the dry-mesic forest while the wet-mesic forest is dominated by river birch, silver maple, hackberry, red maple, and paper birch.

Occasional tamarack and white cedar are found in the wettest portions, at the east end of the park. With varied topography, bedrock exposures, seepage springs, and a variety of soil types all nearby, Putnam Park possesses many plant and animal habitats. More than 400 species of plants, 100 species of birds in summer, and 23 mammal species have been recorded within the park. Putnam Park is owned by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and was designated a State Natural Area in 1976.

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.

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.


Eau Claire County. T27N-R9W, Sections 21, 28, 29, 30. 111 acres.

Driving directions

On the UW-Eau Claire campus. To access the western portion, walk west from parking lot #4 along the interpretive trail into the area. To access the eastern portion, access via Putnam Drive, a one-way drive that bisects the area and starts across from parking lot #14.

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]

Putnam Park is owned by: The UW Board of Regents