Rice Creek State Natural Area

Keego Rd E,
Boulder Junction, WI 54512

Rice Creek SNA features a two-mile stretch of creek surrounded by a large wetland complex of conifer swamp, boreal rich fen, sedge meadow, and northern wet-mesic forest. White cedar dominates the forest but cover is variable with balsam fir, black spruce, tamarack, black ash, red maple, white spruce, yellow birch, paper birch, and hemlock all present in the canopy. Thickets of mountain maple and alder are found in some areas. The understory is diverse and includes heart-leaf twayblade, blunt-leaved orchid, naked miterwort, three-leaved goldthread, yellow blue-bead lily, early coralroot, and striped coralroot. The slow, warm, hard-water Rice Creek has extensive lush beds of aquatic macrophytes including dense stands of wild rice. Just west of Keego Lake are two small, but high quality stands of old-growth hemlock with super-canopy white and red pines. The undeveloped, 24-acre lake is a deep, soft-water seepage lake with a maximum depth of 18 feet. Situated between Rice Creek and the rich conifer swamp is an undisturbed, diverse boreal rich fen, which is fed by a small seepage flowing through the westernmost portion. Characteristic species include American woolly-fruit sedge, bog birch, pitcher plant, bog buckben, three-leaf Solomon's-seal, alpine cotton-grass, and marsh cinquefoil. Orchids are well-represented with at least seven species present. Birds include barred owl, red-breasted nuthatch, pine siskin, and winter wren. Rice Creek is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

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