Cedarburg Bog is the most intact large bog in southeastern Wisconsin and composed of a mosaic of vegetation types. Once part of a large glacial lake, the bog is a relict community - a southern example of the type more commonly found in northern Wisconsin. There are six lakes remaining within the bog, all with varying sizes and depths. The 245-acre Mud Lake is the largest, followed by the 34-acre Long Lake. Surrounding the lakes are areas of emergent aquatic vegetation while just outside this zone is a successional shrub-carr area. Most unusual is a string or "patterned" bog, unique here because it lies far south of its usual range in North America. It is composed of ridges of stunted cedar and tamarack that lie in an open flat sedge mat. The meadow vegetation consists of narrow-leaved sedges, pitcher plant, bogbean, water horsetail, arrow-grass, orchids, and the insectivorous sundew and bladderwort. A conifer-swamp hardwood forest is adjacent to the bog. There is a very diverse flora and fauna; many that are more common in northern boreal forests and that are at their southern range limit here.
The Cedarburg Bog was designated a State Natural Area in 1952: it was the second property in the state added to this program. It is currently owned primarily by the DNR and the University of Wisconsin, with some private inholdings. The Cedarburg Bog is:
- Registered as a National Natural Landmark by the Department of the Interior.
- Designated as a Wetland Gem by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.
- Named an Important Bird Area by the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative.
The trailhead and parking is on the south side of Hwy. 33, 1/10 mile west of Lakeland Road.
Man must go back to nature for information. -- Thomas Paine