It contains large expanses of cedar-tamarack swamp forest, in addition to marshes, shrub carrs, swamp hardwoods, and both deep and shallow bog lakes. Its most unusual feature is the presence of a string or "patterned" bog, which consists of stunted cedars and tamaracks alternating with flatter, wetter areas dominated by sedges. String bogs are typically found much further north, and the Cedarburg Bog may be the southernmost string bog in North America.
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:
The Friends of the Cedarburg Bog is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that supports preservation, stewardship, appreciation, and scientific study of the Cedarburg Bog in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station. The Cedarburg Bog is one of the largest and most biologically interesting wetlands in southern Wisconsin. The Bog Friends seek to make the public more aware of the Bog's uniqueness by creating opportunities to visit it. It plans projects and organizes volunteer workdays for invasive species control, to improve facilities for educational and scientific programs, and to support long-term monitoring and research.
The Friends of the Cedarburg Bog supports stewardship, understanding, and appreciation of the Bog through land management, preservation, research, and education.