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Waazija Haci

No. 696




Within the Black River State Forest, Jackson County. Township 22 North, Range 3 West, Section 32. 142 acres.


Waazija Haci features a relatively small but exceptionally diverse pine barrens on level outwash sands. The site lies northeast of Black River Falls near Ho-Chunk Nation land and is bounded by Sandpillow Road to the south and Mission Road to the west.

The site includes closed-canopy areas dominated by jack pine, white pine, black oak, tall shrubs and more open-canopied pine barrens. Plant diversity and the number of barrens indicator species in the open areas is higher than in any other Black River State Forest area and likely one of the most diverse sites in the Central Sand Plains Ecological Landscape. Due to the exceptional number of indicator plant species present, the site is in the highest possible tier for the barrens ecological integrity metric. Species include New Jersey tea, purple prairie clover, white prairie clover, wild lupine, showy goldenrod, white goldenrod, stiff goldenrod, rough blazing star, cylindrical blazing star, western sunflower, hairy puccoon, prairie coreopsis, leadplant, flax-leaved aster and prairie phlox.

The site lies within the Black River Conservation Opportunity Area of global significance for pine-oak barrens, which support numerous rare species. Rare species present within the site include four butterflies and two plants. The name Waazija Haci was chosen by the Ho-Chunk Nation, meaning "people of the pines." Waazija Haci is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2023.

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. Trails, if established, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is available, it will usually be noted on the SNA map under the Maps tab. A compass, topographic map, or GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

The 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 roads 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 valuable 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.

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

  • 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
  • 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].

Driving Directions

From the intersection of State Highway 54 and County K, go west on Highway 54 for 2.5 miles, then northwest on Sandpillow Road for 0.5 miles. The site lies north of the road.

The DNR's state natural areas program comprises lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While most 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 on these maps have been obtained from various sources 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]

Waazija Haci is owned by the DNR