|Lower Wisconsin State Riverway|
The Wisconsin River, with more hydroelectric dams than any other river in the nation, drains over a third of the state. Below the last dam at Prairie du Sac, this “hardest working river in the nation” turns into a wild and pristine waterway slowly winding through 92 miles of rough, unglaciated t...
|Description: Horicon Marsh is designated as a Wetland of International Importance. The largest freshwater cattail marsh in the country, it is the most popular wildlife viewing area in Wisconsin. Observe hundreds of thousands of geese and ducks during migration.|
Wildlife to Watch: Spring and fall are excellent seasons to view migrating Canada geese whose numbers peak at about 250,000 late October to mid November. More than 20 species of ducks, including green-winged teal, American wigeon, northern shoveler, scaup, gadwall, and pintail also migrate through. Blue-winged teal, redhead, mallard, ruddy duck, coot, black tern, and yellow-headed blackbird next on the marsh. Fourmile Island State Natural Area supports the largest heron and egret nesting colony in Wisconsin. VIEW FROM BOAT ONLY. NO ENTRY ONTO FOURMILE ISLAND ALLOWED. The marsh’s more unique and secretive inhabitants such as the moorhen, sora, Virginia rail, pied-billed grebe, and American bittern are best viewed along the state canoe trail. Muskrat, mink, and otter cavort in the water, while white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and coyote inhabit the woods and grasslands. During warm months, swallows, sandhill crane, and monarch butterfly share these uplands.
Special Tips: Marsh Haven Nature Center (pvt): Maps, information, and programs, April to November. Observation tower, trail, entry fee.
Other Activities: Boat rentals and tours available in Horicon. STOPPING ALONG WI 49 IS DANGEROUS, PLEASE USE PARKING LOTS. Information on federal, state, and private areas of Horicon Marsh follows.
USFWS National Wildlife Refuge: For protection of habitat and wildlife, access limited to specified areas only: WI 49 scenic overlook with exhibit; Federal Dike Road; 3 hiking trails with barrier-free boardwalk; seasonal auto tour route. CANOEING NOT PERMITTED. OTHER RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. Contact Refuge Headquarters for maps and information.
WDNR State Wildlife Area: Hiking and canoe trails. Education center has maps and seasonal interpretive programs.
Ownership: USFWS; WDNR; Marsh Haven Nature Center
Size: 32,000 acres
Closest Town: Horicon for State Headquarters, Waupun for Federal Refuge and Nature Center
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: