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Spaulding Fen

No. 636


Photo by Josh Mayer


Spaulding Fen features one of the least modified sedge fens found in the Central Sand Plains with nearly all others being modified through ditching, roads, or mossing. While mossing has occurred here, much of the site still retains its ecological integrity. Classified as a "central poor fen", this low-nutrient, open peatland is dominated by sedges and contains a few scattered areas of tamarack stands.

The most common species are the few-seeded sedge (Carex oligosperma), tussock sedge (C. stricta), sphagnum mosses, hard-hack, and blue joint grass. Other herbaceous plants include round-leaved sundew, blue-flag iris, bog rosemary, pitcher plant, rose pogonia, and grass pink. Common shrubs include bog birch and mountain holly. A few stunted paper birch, red maple, and white and jack pine are also present. Rare birds have nested here. Other birds include hermit thrush, warbling vireo, Nashville warbler, Connecticut warbler, and bobolink. Spaulding Fen is owned by Jackson County 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.

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 Jackson County Forest, Jackson County. T21N-R1W, Sections 1, 6. T22N-R1W, Sections 31, 32. 479 acres.

Driving directions

From Spaulding, go south on Spaulding Road 1.1 mile to State Highway 54. The fen lies south of the highway. Access is also provided from the west off Lone Pine Road by heading west on Highway 54 for 1.2 miles, then south on Lone Pine Road for about 1.3 miles. Walk east into the fen.

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]

Spaulding Fen is owned by: Jackson County