No-name Lake Research Natural Area

A view looking across No-Name Lake of a stand of White Pines; 2001 photo by Linda Parker, USDA Forest Service.

Great Divide
No-name Lake Research Natural Area (RNA) has at its center an undeveloped, soft-water seepage lake in a secluded tract of older, second-growth northern hardwood/hemlock forest with a small bog lake, perennial ponds, sedge meadow, and conifer swamp.   The lowland conifer swamps and bog lake are representative of the ecological land type known as Glidden Drumlins. Other forest communities within the RNA include eastern hemlock and northern white cedar of large diameter (over 100 years old) with super-canopy white pine scattered throughout.  Sugar maple, white ash, and basswood dominate the uplands.  Black ash is common in the lowlands and on perched wetlands within the mesic forest.

Ecological Information

Physical and Climatic Conditions

Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA:
Park Falls DNR Headquarters, station no. 476398. The station is located about 20 mi (32 km) to the southeast of the RNA.
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) :
Annual precipitation averages 32 inches (81 cm), 69% of which falls between April and September. Average seasonal snowfall is 41 inches (105 cm).
Maximum and minimum temperatures:
Daily summertime temperatures average 58° F; average daily maximum temperatures average 51° F. Average temperature in the winter is 24° F; average daily minimum temperatures average 31° F.
Elevations range from 1,460 feet (445 m) to 1,510 feet (460 m) MSL.
Geology and Soils:
Bedrock includes igneous, metamorphic, and volcanic rock that is generally within 5 feet of the land surface. Topography is rolling with drumlin moraines.  Geomorphologic processes include till deposition.
Soils of No-name Lake RNA are well-drained loamy sands and sandy loams in the western portion and moderately well to well drained silt loams in the eastern portion.  Soil series include the Pelissier-Pence sandy loams.  The Pelissier series consists of very deep, excessively drained soils on outwash plains, stream terraces, eskers, kames and end moraines.   The Pence series consists of very deep somewhat excessively drained soils which are shallow to stratified sandy outwash   The bog contains deep, strongly acid soils that are moderately decomposed and very poorly drained.  Organic material is derived largely from sphagnum mosses and herbaceous plants.  The water table is at the surface throughout the year.
Aquatic Features:
Water resources include No-name Lake, and extensive wetlands.  No-name Lake has no stream inlet but the outflow during periods of high water is generally to the north into the Chippewa River basin. In places the poorly drained soils support ephemeral as well as permanent ponds. The ground water of some of the wetlands flows outside the RNA into the Brunet River, a high quality trout stream with natural trout reproduction.

Ecological Classification & Inventory

Laurentian Mixed Forest Province, Northern Highland (212X)
Glidden Loamy Drift Plain (Xa)
Plant Communities:
Glidden Drumlins  (Xa01)

Curtis Community Type

Kotar Habitat Types

Dominant Species initial US National Vegetation Classification

Northern mesic forest


eastern hemlock, white cedar, paper birch (red pine, white pine)

Tsuga canadensis - (Betula alleghaniensis) Forest; CEGL002598

Northern mesic forest


sugar maple, white ash, basswood

Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana - Tilia americana / Acer spicatum / Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest; CEGL005008

Northern mesic forest


sugar maple, yellow birch, basswood (black ash)

Acer saccharum - Betula alleghaniensis - (Tilia americana) Forest;  CEGL002457

Northern wet-mesic forest


eastern hemlock, white cedar, yellow birch (white pine)

Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis Saturated Forest; CEGL005003

Northern wet forest


black spruce - tamarack

Picea mariana - (Larix laricina) / Ledum groenlandicum / Sphagnum spp. Forest; CEGL005271

Lake - shallow, soft, seepage


not evaluated


Open bog


leatherleaf,  Labrador tea

Chamaedaphne calyculata - Ledum groenlandicum - Kalmia polifolia Bog Dwarf-shrubland; CEGL005278

Northern sedge meadow


Carex spp.

Eastern North American Wet Meadow Group; G112

Ephemeral ponds


not evaluated


Complete Plant List

Common Shrub Species:
A dense over story provides for an open, sparse shrub layer that includes American fly honeysuckle, mountain maple, and winterberry. 
Common Herbaceous Species:
Ground flora consists of Dryopteris wood ferns, club-mosses, sedges, and grasses.  Dominant herbs are wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) and Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) with bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), mountain wood sorrel (Oxalis montana), three-leaved goldthread (Coptis trifolia), and fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum).  A high diversity of Botrychium fern allies was also noted, including the uncommon lance-leaved grapefern (Botrychium lanceolatum v. angustisegmentum).  Along the lake edge is a floating bog mat of leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), which widens out into a large, open sedge.
Common Fauna:
Wildlife observed includes a wide variety of waterfowl and marsh birds.   The large diameter trees present provide nesting sites for saw-whet owls and pileated woodpecker.  The gray wolf has established pack territories just west of this area.  Spring peepers and wood frogs are found in the ephemeral ponds.
Potential Research Topics:
Potential research topics include successional changes, habitat characteristics along the gradient from upland to wetland, long-term forest dynamics, bat population, acid bog lake ecology, and amphibians of ponds and lakes.

Related link: Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program No-name Lake

Related Reports and Publications

Brzeskiewicz, Marjory.  2014.  Establishment Record for No-name Lake Research Natural Area.  Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Eagle River District, Forest County, Wisconsin.   39 pp.

Curtis, J. T.  1959.  Vegetation of Wisconsin.  University of Wisconsin Press, Madison WI.

Kotar, J.; Kovach, J.; Burger, T.  2002.  A Guide to Forest Communities and Habitats of Northern Wisconsin (2nd edition).  Madison: University of Wisconsin, Department of Forest Ecology and Management.

NGDC. National Geographic Data Committee. 2012. National Vegetation Classification Standard (NVCS). Available online: Accessed 2012.

Vora, R. S. 1997. Developing programs to monitor ecosystem health and effectiveness of management practices on Lakes States National Forests, USA. Biol. Conserv. 80:289-302

Last Modified: August 20, 2021