Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area – Horicon
For the longest time I drove past Horicon Marsh, daunted by the immense size. Even with all of the nice road signs you still didn’t know if you were going to have a nice dry hike. It is a marsh after all.
If you were to have a staring contest with this Horicon Marsh, the marsh would win. Back in the good ole days you didn’t have a nature center with nice trail maps and bathrooms or a place to warm your bones. Fast forwarding a decade or two and it seems that finally there now is a proper visitors center; a warm place to share the history, buy trinkets, and to relax and regroup. And yes, a bathroom.
Horicon Marsh is a huge area, covering 32,000 acres and is part of both a State and National Wildlife Refuge and has a Nature Preserve. Birding enthusiasts can stop here to check off their list the more popular birds that stop here. If you are hoping to avoid walking all 32,000 acres, there is a boat tour or you can rent your own canoe or kayak. I also am happy to announce that tent camping rental is available.
On a somewhat serious note: people who are birders are easily spotted with either binoculars or a camera with a heavy zoom lens. They are annoyed by raucous noise, however innocent, because you will scare off the bird they are waiting so patiently to view. Please give them a wide berth. If you are a budding birder, read or print the Horicon Marsh Bird Checklist for what to look for.
This area is also known as Horicon National Wildlife Refuge which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service which allows for hunting. If interested, read more about hunting at Horicon Marsh.
Where to find: N7725 Highway 28, Horicon, Wisconsin 53032. Phone: 920-387-7890 Visitor Center Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
Map and Guides: Driving Map, Tour de Marsh Map, Hunting Map Hiking Map, and Canoeing Map
What to expect: Depending on your interests, you can expect a relatively easy drive with marked places for hiking, wildlife viewing. This is also hunting grounds and during the open season you will hear the sounds of rifle shots. Most of the trails are gravel/crushed stone with observation desks. Wheelchair friendly with assistance. Horicon Marsh itself is pet friendly but Marsh Haven nature center does not allow pets.