TERRY ANDRAE STATE PARK
The park is home to many mammals, the most popular of which is the white-tailed deer. Red fox can often be seen in the dunes. Thirteen-lined ground squirrels frequent the picnic areas looking for scraps. Muskrats, master architects, build domed homes in the Black River marsh. Raccoons can be nasty thieves when food is carelessly left out in the campsite. In addition, coyotes may be seen or heard on occasion.
More than 150 birds species are known to live in or migrate through Kohler-Andrae. The lakeshore of Lake Michigan acts as a migration corridor for birds during the spring and fall. Impressive numbers of diving ducks can be seen just offshore of the park at this time. Many hawks also migrate through the park area, as do several other endangered and threatened species of birds. Many birds live and nest in the park, ranging from ducks, gulls, and shorebirds to woodland warblers, vireos, sparrows and marshland rails and herons. Bring your binoculars along and enjoy the never ending and colorful bird show.
More than 400 known plant species are found in the park, including more than 50 different tree species. Many plants that grow in the dune areas of the park are very specialized and found only in this area. The "Kohler Dunes Natural Area" located north and south of the nature center has many unique examples of dune vegetation and protects some threatened species as well. Please be careful not to damage any vegetation in this fragile area of the park.
Jean Nicolet was the first known explorer believed to have visited our area during his visit with the Ho-Chunk Indians near Green Bay in 1634. Later, between 1665 and 1670, Nicholas Perrot spent time in this region, much of it with the Potowatomis who lived here at the time. Father Jacques Marquette and several other missionaries were known to explore the western shores of Lake Michigan by canoe from 1673-1699.
In 1795, when the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians inhabited our area, a Frenchman by the name of Jacques Vieau visited the Sheboygan area to erect a Northwest fur company post. This fur company and later the American Fur company dominated trade in the area until 1868. Trade goods and furs were transported by canoe along the lakeshore to Green Bay and Milwaukee. The Indians traded hides of bear, deer, moose and pelts of muskrat, beaver, lynx, otter and marten. In return they received blankets, clothes, knives, axes and other goods.
The first true European-American settler in the park area was David Wilson. Mr. Wilson was born in New York and arrived here with his family from Ohio in 1840. Next to follow in 1845 were two brothers, James and Leonard Osgood. These and other "Yankee" families from the east coast were drawn to this region to set up fisheries. Fishermen in small skiffs out on the lake netted fish using hooped pound nets and lifted them by hand. Lake trout, white fish, lake herring and chubs were taken by this method.
Fishing in the 19th century was backbreaking and often dangerous work. Both David Wilson and the Osgood brothers drowned in Lake Michigan while engaged in their fishing operations. In the 1850s, '60s and '70s, a large influx of German and Dutch immigrants came into this area. Most were farmers by trade and moved inland to better farm lands. Along the lakeshore, however, fishing was still the predominant occupation, along with a few coopers and boat builders.
Before World War I, lakeshore property was offered for one dollar per foot with no buyers. The land was sandy and could not sustain crops or livestock grazing. With the advent of the automobile and the growing popularity of the motor touring and recreation, land prices rose quickly as wealthy people from urban areas like Milwaukee sought country escapes from city life.
n 1924 Frank Theodore (Terry) Andrae purchased 92 acres of lakeshore property from a retired fisherman and later purchased another 30 acres. Mr. Andrae was president of Julius Andrae and Sons' Electric Supply Company in Milwaukee. He and his wife Elsbeth built a two-story house overlooking the lake in the area where the present-day campground is. This second home was known as "Henriette Lodge" and the Andraes often entertained guests there. Mrs. Andrae had a strong interest in botany and horticulture and at considerable expense, hired several forestry consultants and began to reforest their property. After her husband's death in 1927, Mrs. Andrae donated all 122 acres of her "pine dunes" lakeshore property to the State of Wisconsin to be known from then on as Terry Andrae State Park.
In the years following both the John M. Kohler and Terry Andrae donations, the State of Wisconsin purchased an additional 600 acres of property, bringing the total acreage of both parks combined to about 1,000 acres. Although still considered two properties with adjacent boundaries, the parks are managed as one unit by the Department of Natural Resources.
Considerable development has been undertaken in the park, such as campgrounds, picnic areas, a bath house, nature center, trails and roads. Improving facilities and programs is an ongoing effort. A master plan was developed to assure that future property management and development plans will be consistent with the needs of park visitors while protecting the park's natural resources.
The park has a 105-unit family campground, including 49 sites with electrical hookups. Each campsite has a campfire ring and a picnic table and can accomodate a limit of 6 people or one family (parents and minor children plus two guests). Each site is limited to one wheeled camping unit and two vehicles which must be parked on the paved drive. Off-site parking for additional vehicles is available.
In addition, a canvas and pole tepee is for rent in the summer for those who do not have their own camping equipment or who want the experience of camping in a primitive shelter.
Kohler-Andrae also has a specially designed campsite, rest room and shower for campers with physical disabilities.
The campground is open all year. During the warm weather season, showers, flush toilet and laundry facilities are available in the family campground. Campsites do not have water or sewer hookups, but a trailer dump station and a fresh water fill-up station are available in the park.
There are two group campsites with a combined capacity of 50 people. Tents only are allowed in this area. Vault toilets are provided.Reservations
For family and group camp reservations, call toll-free to (888) WI-PARKS ((888) 947-2757).
To reserve the picnic shelters, call (920) 451-4080.
There are two self-guided nature trails in the park. The Creeping Juniper Nature Trail just south of the nature center has self-guiding nature signs and winds through beautiful sand dune areas of the park.
The Woodland Dunes Nature Trail runs thorugh a heavily wooded section of the park south of the campground. Self-guiding nature signs throughout the trail describe many of the unique trees a visitor experiences within Kohler-Andrae. A shorter, level, limestone trail, which makes up the first portion of the Woodland Dunes Trail, is available for the mobility impaired visitors of the park.
The Black River Marsh Boardwalk is on the west side of the campground just off the main campground road. The 1/4-mile boardwalk offers a unique opportunity to walk out over the marsh, past the nesting ponds, west to the Black River. Along the way, there are three lookout/resting platforms with seats. This walk is accessible to people with disabilities. Dogs are allowed to accompany their owners.
The Dunes Cordwalk is just north and south of the nature center in the state natural area. Hikers walk on a 2 1/2 mile "cordwalk" (boards and rope) through the dunes with three lookout points and benches overlooking Lake Michigan and a rare interdunal marsh area.
Hiking, Bike, and Horse Trail:
The Black River Trail is in the northwest section of the park just off County Hwy. V. The 2.5-mile trail winds through open prairie, mixed woodlands and a red pine plantation. This trail is open for horses, hikers, and mountain bikes.