Nourse Sugarbush State Natural Area
_ The Conservancy, in partnership with the Wisonsin DNR, purchased the sugarbush property, located on the north face of Mt. Ashwabay, from the Nourse family in 2005 to create the Nourse Sugarbush State Natural Area.
In addition to its quality habitat for migratory song birds, gray wolf, and black bear and its old growth maple and hemlock forests, the Nourse Sugarbush has cultural and historical significance to the region. For hundreds of years, the sugarbush was a spring destination for Ojibwe people, who were the first to tap those maple trees for producing maple syrup. Slash marks from those days are still evident on the oldest trees. The Nourse family has continued the tradition since the 1920’s. A small cabin (c. 1920) and tin storage shed used for maple syrup production still exist on the property and are used for annual sugaring operations by the Nourse Family who retained lifetime rights to harvest syrup.
One of Mt. Ashwabay’s most scenic cross country ski trails passes through this area.
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"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
~ John Burroughs