Established Research Natural Areas

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Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Minnesota | New Hampshire | New York | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Vermont | Wisconsin

Note designations: * located inside wilderness area; ** designated by Congress


Shawnee National Forest (5,384 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Atwood Ridge 1990 955 Dry, mesic forest; barrens; hill prairies
Barker Bluff 1990 60 Glade and glade / forest complex; escarpment
Burke Branch 1991 206 Dry to mesic oaks; mesic barrens; juncture of Mississippi Embayment/Shawnee Hills
Cave Hill 1990 465 Xeric to dry-mesic oak forests; barrens; sandstone glades, cliffs; aquatic and terrestrial cave habitat
Dennison Hollow 1989 205 Xeric and dry oak forests; barrens; sandstone glades, cliffs
LaRue-Pine Hills/Otter Pond 1991 2,585 14 natural communities (bottomland forest; ponds; swamps; bluffs; upland forests)
Ozark Hill Prairie 1991 535 Bluff ridge; hill prairie; dry, dry-mesic oaks; beech-maples, sassafras-persimmon forests
Panther Hollow 1989 180 Sandstone hollows, cliffs; dry, dry-mesic oaks; beech-maple forest
Stoneface 1990 176 Sandstone cap of thrust fault, cliffs, glades; loess hill prairie; xeric to dry-mesic oak forest
Whoopie Cat Mountain 1990 17 Limestone cedar glade; dry oak forest; rugged hills


Hoosier National Forest (88 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest 1944 88 Mixed mesophytic forest; walnut grove


Hiawatha National Forest (2,357 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Dukes 1974 233 Upland and swamp conifers and hardwoods on glacial till plain
Grand Island 1977 59 Northern hardwoods; sandstone cliff; lakeshore; creek bottomland
Horseshoe Bay 1996 2,065 Cobble beaches, wooded dunes, northern fens, interdunal wetlands, rich conifer swamps, Great Lakes marshes, and hardwood-conifer swamps
Little Waiska Basin 2020 496 High-quality example of mesic northern forest dominated by red maple and a rich conifer swamp dominated by Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), and other lowland conifers
Nahma 2020 867 This unique ecosystem along the Great Lakes shoreline does not exist anywhere else in the world. Nahma RNA encompasses shoreline, a dune and swale complex, a large Great Lakes marsh, upland forests, and a northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) swamp.
* Point Aux Chenes 2020 4,266 Interdunal wetland and a coastal marsh with swales and dunes that include some critically important rare plant populations; contains excellent examples of unique northern fens with microsites adapted to alkaline soil conditions that allow many calciphiles (plants that grow well on lime rich soil) to flourish
* Rock River Canyon 2020 83 Virgin northern hardwood stands containing sugar maple (Acer saccharum), American basswood (Tilia americana), and some American beech (Fagus grandifolia). This forest surrounds a 200-foot-deep, ¼ mile wide canyon with nearly vertical sandstone cliffs which are soft and easily eroded.
* Scott’s Marsh 2020 1,538 Consists of a large complex of wetlands, rivers, and lakes that flow through the Shingleton area and branch both south and north toward the Great Lake;Scott’s Marsh also represents a vital resting stop for rare and globally declining neotropical migratory birds
* Shingleton Bog 2020 3,336 an outstanding example of the Shingleton Fen Landtype Association, which is a large wetland complex formed in outwash sand reworked by Lake Algonquin. The RNA includes areas of mixed hardwood forests, patterned fens, and open bogs with associated conifers, northern dry forest, and riparian areas.
St. Martin Peninsula 2020 518 A matrix of swamp with “islands” of higher ground supporting dry-mesic northern forest (MNFI n.d.). The wetland depression lake is completely surrounded by an extensive, dense, rich conifer swamp dominated by northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis). The dry-mesic northern forest consists of balsam fir, white spruce (Picea glauca),paper birch (Betula papyrifera), balsam poplar (Populus balsamea), aspen (Populus spp.) and northern white cedar.
Upper Eighteenmile Lake 2020 447 Provides a relatively unmodified example of a wetland ecosystem associated with northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) swamp, northern fen, the Whitefish River stream system, and an upland hardwood forest. The wetlands in Upper Eighteenmile Lake RNA support two rare plant species, Orchis rotundifolia (small round-leaved orchid) and Juncus stygius(moor rush).
Weden’s Bay 2020 147 The undisturbed nature of the upland and wetland ecosystems offers a rich species diversity and the opportunity to study fresh water transition zones. Also, the relatively pristine remnants of pre-European settlement lakeshore to upland transitional ecosystems are uncommon in the region, providing great biological significance.


Huron-Manistee National Forests (1,363 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Hayes Tower 1997 388 High-quality pine-oak forest type; aspen
Newaygo Prairies 1988 180 Dry sand prairie; oak, pine forests
Nordhouse Dunes 1987 795 Sand dunes; jack pine interdunal wetlands; swamps; hardwood dune forests

Ottawa National Forest (3,675 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
McCormick 1971 3,675 Northern hardwoods and conifers; conifer swamp; lakes
Sturgeon River Gorge 2012 351 Gorge is deep V-shaped valley containing terraces, oxbow lakes and other landscape features.



Chippewa National Forest (1,905 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Battle Point 1991 329 Sugar maple - basswood forest
Clustered Bur Reed 1991 79 Open and forested bog; shrub swamp; marsh
Pine Point 1932 1,239 Red, jack, and white pines
Stony Point 1991 404 Wet-mesic northern hardwoods

Superior National Forest (2,093 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Keeley Creek 1942 640 Black spruce, jack pine forests; sedge meadows; lake; streams
* Lac La Croix 1942 973 Red, white pines; river; cliffs
Marble Lake Lookout 1988 120 Northern hardwoods
Schroeder 1973 360 Northern hardwoods; ash swamp; white cedar swamp


New Hampshire

White Mountain National Forest (1,995 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Alpine Gardens 1989 100 Alpine tundra
Nancy Brook 1991 1,385 Old-growth red spruce and balsam fir; virgin forest; includes the summits of three mountains
The Bowl 1931 510 Many trees are 400 years old or older; contains virgin forests with all of the principle timber types of the region.


Wayne National Forest (96 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Buffalo Beats 2000 19 Remnant prairie surrounded by mixed-oak forest.
Reas Run 1975 77 Mature stands of Virginia pine which originated naturally following abandonment of agricultural land in the approximate period 1915-1920.


Allegheny National Forest (2,113 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Tionesta 1940 2,113 One of the few remaining examples of the virgin hemlock-beech climax forest of the Allegheny Plateau.



Green Mountain National Forest (290 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
The Cape 1993 290 Steep slopes; mesic northern hardwood forest, dominated by yellow birch, sugar maple and red spruce larger than 24 in (62 cm) in diameter


Chequamegon National Forest (13,539 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Bear Creek 2014 1,034 Old-growth hemlock; stream
Bearsdale Creek and Hyatt Spring 2014 495 Bur oak, basswood, black ash bottomland hardwood forest; spring-runs and ponds; exposed dry bedrock outcrops
Brunsweiler River and Mineral Lake 2014 962 Old-growth hemlock-yellow birch-sugar maple forest; rocky river gorge; Mineral lake; stream
Brush Creek 2014 272 Super-canopy white pine, mixed conifer and hardwood swamps in kettle depressions, a forested reach of Brush Creek, a small ice-walled-lake-plain.
Camp Nine Pines 2014 872 Red, White, Jack Pine
Chequamegon Hardwoods 1988 80 Northern and swamp hardwoods; stream; exposed gabbro bedrock
Dry Lake 2015 359 Upland hemlock-hardwoods; lake; open wiregrass sphagnum bog and tussuck sedge meadow; cedar-black ash and tamarack-black spruce
** Fairy Land   32 Mature hemlock-hardwood forest lakeshore
Foulds Creek 2014 1,393 Black spruce-tamarack bog; northern white cedar; a prominent esker with hemlock, white cedar, red and white pine; spring runs; stream
Headwater Lakes 2015 779 Sugar maple-beech-yellow birch; hemlock; lowland black spruce; Wabasso, Cedar and Favil Lakes
McCarthy Lake and Cedars 1989 363 Lake; streams; white cedar swamp; pines
Memorial Grove Hemlocks 1989 64 Hemlock-hardwoods on pitted glacial moraine
Mondeaux Hardwoods 2014 755 Mesic hemlock-hardwood forest; super-canopy white pine; springs and spring runs
Moquah 1935 640 Jack pine - scrub oak barrens without fire
No-name Lake 2015 283 Sugar maple-basswood; black spruce-tamarack; soft water seepage lake
Richter Lake 2015 330 Sugar maple-basswood; black ash-american elm-red maple; stream
St. Peter's Dome 2015 2,268 Sugar maple-basswood; aspen; Long Lake; Morgan Falls; stream; gorge following a fracture in Keweenawan granite
Spider Lake 1989 94 Hardwood swamp
Tucker Lake Hemlocks 1991 158 Hemlock-hardwoods; conifer swamp; lowland brush; lakeshore; on glacial till
Twin Lakes Bog 1989 38 Conifer swamp; seepage lakes and bog
Wilson Lake 2015 2,268 Lowland black spruce-tamarack; Wilson Creek, Wilson Lake and Star Lake, mosaic of sedge meadow communities


Nicolet National Forest (6,167 acres)

RNA Date Size (acres) Description
Atkins-Hiles Swamp 2014 2,360 Hiles Swamp, Atkins Lake, and upland drumlins
Battle Creek 2015 100 Northern mesic forest dominated by White Pine, Hemlock; river
Bose Lake 1992 81 Hemlock-hardwoods; lakeshore
Echo Lake 2014 478 Mature hemlock-yellow birch-sugar maple; white cedar, tamarack, balsam fir; Echo lake; bog mat; Ninemile creek
Grandma Lake Wetlands 1991 495 Lake and open bog; conifer swamp; hardwoods on glacial outwash
McCaslin Mountain 1992 524 Hardwoods; perched wetlands; xeric ridgetop
Rat Lake Swamp – Popple River Headwaters 2015 1,568 Black spruce-tamarack; northern white cedar; Popple river, Rat creek, and Rat lake; long, narrow esker
South Branch Beech Grove 2015 226 Mature beech and sugar maple forest
Waupee Lake Swamp 2015 335 White cedar, balsam fir, and black ash; headwaters for Little Waupee Creek; Waupee Lake

Last Modified: August 20, 2021