The Oak Road Nature Preserve is situated northeast of Carlsville where Sunnyslope and Oak Roads converge in a picturesque valley. Included in the preserve are rolling hills, fields bordered by woodlands, and views of an occasional barn and farm house, but the major feature of the preserve is an extensive vernal wetland. Each spring it fills with water and becomes an annual stopping point for migrating waterfowl and breeding amphibians. When the marsh fills with water, spring peepers (frogs) are so abundant and loud that neighbors find it hard to sleep at night, resulting in the local name “Frog Town.” Water from this marsh drains west off the preserve into nearby Plum Bottom, and from there down the escarpment bluff and eventually into Green Bay.
The Oak Road Nature Preserve was once the farmstead of August and Lillian Gabert. The Gaberts raised their 12 children here, tended an orchard, milked cows, and worked the land. Today, it is the site of a major ecological restoration project. In an effort to enhance the preserve’s wetland ecosystem, the Land Trust has planted tens of thousands of oaks, pines and shrubs and established a 30-acre prairie.
Help us continue to protect Door County’s special places. Door County Land Trust nature preserves were established to protect fragile ecological resources and provide habitat for plants and wildlife. You can help maintain the health of the forest, meadows, and wetlands by respecting the nature preserves in the following ways:
Stay on the trails. Hiking off-trail disturbs vegetation and wildlife, and increases your chances of encountering poison-ivy, other natural hazards, or trespassing outside of preserve boundaries.
Clean your boots or shoes. You can reduce the spread of invasive plants by brushing your boots or shoes where a boot brush station is provided.
Pets are welcome. Please keep your pets on a leash at all times and pick up after your pets.
Collecting is not allowed. Collecting of any vegetation, wildlife, or other material is not allowed.
Leave no trace. Please carry out everything that you carry in, including garbage.
Some activities are not allowed. Horseback riding, ATVs, bicycles, snowmobiles and other motorized recreational equipment is not allowed on the preserves.
Camping in parking lots or on Land Trust protected properties is not allowed. Use of the nature preserves is allowed from dawn until dusk.
Fires are not allowed on Land Trust protected properties.
Wear brightly colored clothing during hunting seasons. Hunting, trapping, and fishing may be allowed at some Door County Land Trust nature preserves. For more detailed information about hunting on Door County Land Trust preserves, please visit our Hunting Program page.
- 155 protected acres
- 1.75 miles of hiking trails on level terrain with viewing platform overlooking 40-acre wetland complex
- Wetlands that provide nesting and feeding habitat for migrating water fowl including sandhill cranes and a diversity of duck species
- A prairie and thousands of tree and shrub saplings planted on over 100 acres of former farm fields
- Large expanses of scenic open space along Oak and Sunny Slope Roads