Why You Should Visit
Kangaroo Lake is a large, shallow lake surrounded by marshes, lowland forests and rocky outcrops. The beautiful natural shoreline makes the preserve a picturesque spot for hiking, canoeing or bird watching.
The marshes are filled with wire sedge, bullrushes, and white and yellow water lilies.
In spring, the dolomite plateau west of the lake features a rich display of wildflowers.
The wetlands are best viewed from a canoe. Best hiking trail is at the Judy Abert Meissner Memorial Wetlands Preserve.
Why The Nature Conservancy Selected This Site
Many of Wisconsin's lakes are surrounded by homes. But the north end of Kangaroo Lake offers TNC and its partners an opportunity to preserve a lake and shoreline in its natural condition.
Thanks largely to its extensive shoreline marshes and surrounding lowland forests, the lake's north end, unlike the south end, has never been developed.
The Kangaroo Lake Preserve is one of four preserves owned and managed by TNC in Door County that is home to the rare Hine's emerald dragonfly. Door County hosts the greatest abundance of this federally-endangered dragonfly in the world, and TNC is working with scientists and other partners to learn more about the dragonfly and protect its habitat.
What TNC Has Done/Is Doing
In 1995 TNC acquired 117 acres at the lake's north end. In 1996, we transferred 57 acres to the Door County Land Trust for long-term protection and management.
In 2005, TNC purchased a critical wetland parcel in the headwaters of Kangaroo Lake. The 42-acre parcel is located on Peil Creek in Gibraltar Township and is a major source of the headwater wetlands feeding Kangaroo Lake. The acquisition was made possible by a generous gift from the family of Judy Abert Meissner and the parcel was named the Judy Abert Meissner Memorial Wetlands Preserve in her memory. There is a nice walking trail on the property.
To protect the north basin, TNC is working with two local conservation organizations, the Door County Land Trust and the Kangaroo Lake Association. Grants from the State of Wisconsin and Ducks Unlimited have funded land acquisition.
TNC and the Kangaroo Lake Association are collaborating on a project called “Fish Sticks,” which will provide fish habitat and reduce shoreline erosion. Fish sticks are mid-sized trees that have been harvested elsewhere, transported to the lake and placed in the near shore, shallow water where they are then anchored to the shoreline.
The partially submerged trees will provide habitat for many fish and invertebrates in the lake, protect the shoreline from wave erosion, provide calmer waters where submerged plants can get established, providing even more habitat for fish, frogs, turtles, dragonflies and many lakeshore birds.