|Whitefish Dunes State Park|
Sitting on Door County Peninsula’s eastern shore, this park boasts fragile dune communities, the highest sand dune in the state, plus shorebirds, songbirds, and northwoods mammals.
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
|Description: Wisconsin’s largest state property contains a diversity of northern timber types interspersed with grasslands, marshes, and more that 900 lakes. This site provides ideal habitats for northwoods wildlife, including one of the largest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in Wisconsin.|
Wildlife to Watch: The forest comes alive late April through May with spring wildflowers and migrant songbirds: ruby-throated hummingbird, white-throated sparrow, scarlet tanager, and whip-poor-will. In early June, look for colorful butterflies such as tiger swallowtails. In summer, search for sharp-shinned hawk, great horned owl, raven, and American bittern. White-tailed deer, snowshoe hare, black bear, fisher, otter, red fox, coyote, beaver, and mink are common, while pine marten, gray wolf, and spruce grouse are more elusive. Red-breasted nuthatch, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and pileated woodpecker nest here. In winter look for grosbeaks, goshawk, Canada jay, and snowy owl.
The state forest is home to several endangered, threatened, or sensitive species, from the spotted salamander, wood turtle, and Cooper’s hawk, to the bald eagle, osprey, and common loon. PLEASE KEEP A RESPECTFUL DISTANCE FOR THESE BIRDS AND THEIR NESTS. Excellent roads and trail systems allow viewing by car, bike, boat, canoe, or foot. From Star Lake Nature Trail, witness waves of warblers lured by the insect hatch in mid-May. Wander through stands of large hemlock, yellow birch, and white pine on Clear Lake Nature Trail, where barred owl and little brown bat seek shelter. Bearskin State Trail, with multiple access points, traverses forests, bogs, and lakes featuring eagle, osprey, common loon, beaver, and muskrat.
Special Tips: Canoe the Manitowish River where waterfowl, and green and great blue heron find refuge in its marshes and sloughs.
Other Activities: Woodruff Fish Hatchery offers summer tours. Check for summer naturalist programs.
Size: 223,000 acres
Closest Town: Boulder Junction
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: