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Spider Lake

No. 295


Photo by Steven Spickerman, U.S. Forest Service


Spider Lake features a high-quality stand of swamp hardwoods dominated by black ash of various ages and sizes classes with a canopy associated with red maple, paper birch, white cedar, and white spruce. The shrub layer is well-developed and dense consisting of speckled alder, mountain maple, red-osier dogwood, and winterberry. Characteristic herbs include cinnamon fern, marsh marigold, swamp saxifrage, creeping snowberry, and fringed, swollen, and three-fruited sedges. Cuckoo-flower is also present. Mosses are also an important component of the herbaceous flora.

Small pools of standing or slowly moving water are frequent within the ash forest including tip-up pools with 4-8" of water. Drainage patterns in this area of pitted moraine are rather poorly developed and lakes, kettle depressions, and swamps are abundant. The headwaters of the Chippewa and Marengo Rivers are in this area. Spider Lake supports a diverse array of bird species including the great-crested flycatcher, veery, black-and-white, northern parula, black-throated green warblers, northern waterthrush, and yellow-bellied flycatcher. Spider Lake is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and was designated an SNA in 1988. This site is also recognized by the Forest Service as an established Research Natural Area.

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 Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Ashland County. T43N-R4W, Sections 5, 6, 8. 275 acres.

Driving directions

No direct public access. From the intersection of County Highway GG and 77 in Clam Lake, go north on GG for about 1.9 miles, then north on FR 345 for 0.95 miles, then west on FR 193 for 2.4 miles, then north on FR 344 for about one mile to a logging road on the east side of 344. Walk east following the logging road until it turns. Continue east using a compass and topographic map to the south end of the ash swamp.

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]

Spider Lake is owned by: US Forest Service