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Plan Your Visit

visitor centerThe northern two thirds of Horicon Marsh is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the 22,000 acre Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. The southern third of the marsh, 11,000 acres, is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Visitors enjoy many activities at the refuge - come and see what Horicon National Wildlife Refuge has to offer!

Directions, Address and Contact Info

The office/visitor center is located on the east side of Horicon Marsh, 3.5 miles south of State Highway 49 on County Road Z.

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (Office/Visitor Center)
W4279 Headquarters Road
Mayville, WI 53050 

Phone: 920-387-2658
1-800-947-3529 (V/TTY)


Office/Visitor Center Hours

Jan-Mar & Dec:
Monday-Friday 9a.m.- 4p.m. (+1 Sat/month) For 2016: Jan 16, Feb 13, Mar 19, Dec 3

Apr-Nov: (Peak visitor season)
Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. (+ Sun. in Oct.) For 2016: Open July 4, Labor and Columbus Days

(*Closed all other federal holidays and noon closure on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve*)

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife observation; photography; hiking; fishing; educational programs; guided tours; bicycling; snowshoeing; cross country skiing; and deer and upland game hunting

Maps and Public Programs

Horicon Refuge Brochure and Map

Horicon Marsh Visitor Map

Horicon NWR 2016 Public Programs and Events  

Horicon Marsh Public Programs and Events Spring/Summer 2016   

Public Use Areas

Visitor Center - Wildlife exhibits, gift shop, viewing deck, native plant gardens, and accessible hiking trail.

Horicon "TernPike" Auto Tour and Hiking Trails - located on State Highway 49, just east of the city of Waupun. Open daily year-round, conditions permitting. Paved driving route (3 miles) and three hiking trails along with a floating boardwalk and bicycling and hiking access to the Wild Goose State Trail. Closed to hunting except during the deer gun seasons - auto tour route is closed to vehicles during this time and hikers are required to wear blaze orange.

Highway 49 Wildlife Viewing Area - located on State Highway 49 just west of County Road Z. Open daily year-round. Hiking trail (1/4 mile) with observation area. Closed to all hunting.

Old Marsh Road - Accessed from Point Rd or auto tour. Only open seasonally (June through August and special Earth Day opening in April) for hiking and bicycling to minimize disturbance to migratory birds. Adjacent dikes are closed. Photo blind located on east end of the road and may be reserved year-round - contact the refuge office for reservation information.  

Bud Cook Hiking Area - located off Point Rd. Two hiking trails and observation area. Open daily year-round. Closed to all hunting.

Rockvale Road Viewing Point - Rockvale Rd. Observation platform with spotting scope.

Main Dike Road - Open daily year-round conditions permitting. Entire road is open for hiking and bicycling year-round. Access is limited to the road only - adjacent dikes are closed. Vehicles can drive eastern portion (two-level gravel). Please use pull-offs for wildlife viewing/photography on the eastern portion of Main Dike Road. Parking located near fishing platform on the eastern portion of the road as well as near the Wild Goose State Trail on the western portion of the road (Access from Hwy 26 and use designated parking area).

Peachy Road, Ledge Road, and Main Dike Road - Designated locations for bank fishing/piers.


Additional Information   

  • No entry fees
  • The Refuge is open during daylight hours only 
  • Dogs are welcome but must be leashed
  • Access for wildlife observation/photography/hiking is limited to public use areas - majority of refuge is closed to public access to protect migratory birds (Dec 1 - Mar 15 the entire refuge is open to hiking/snowshoeing/cross country skiing)
  • Visitors should stay on established trails and roads of approved public use areas except during the winter open access period
  • Garbage cans on the refuge are limited - please practice "Pack it in, Pack it out"
  • There is one photo blind located on the refuge (Old Marsh Road) - please contact the visitor center for reservations
  • NOT PERMITTED on the refuge: boats, canoes, kayaks, or other floatable devices; ATV's and snowmobiles; collection of plants, berries, seeds, mushrooms, antlers or other artifacts; fireworks; camping; campfires; overnight parking; geocaches
  • Interagency annual and lifetime passes (Senior, Annual, Access, Military) and Federal Duck Stamps are available for purchase at the visitor center
  • Binoculars and field guides are available for loan at the visitor center.
  • Many amenities are available within a few miles of the Refuge. 
  • Lodging, camping, dining and other local recreation and events information may be found at Dodge County Tourism.
  • Canoe and kayak rental for use on the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area as well as guided boat tour information may be found at Horicon Marsh Boat Tours.

Driving Directions

From Milwaukee (approx. 1 hour driving time): 
Take Highway 45/41 north. Follow the signs for Highway 41 north. Exit at State Highway 49 (Waupun). Turn left at the end of the exit ramp. Follow State Highway 49 (about 8 miles) to Horicon Marsh.

From Madison (approx. 1 hour driving time): 
Take U.S. Highway 151 north to the State Highway 49 exit (Waupun). Turn right at the end of the exit ramp and stay on State Highway 49 as it will take you right to the marsh, especially our hiking trails and auto tour. 

From Fond du Lac (approx. 30 minutes driving time): 
Simplest travel is from the interchange of Highways 41 and 151. Take U.S. Highway 151 south toward Waupun. Exit at State Highway 49. Turn left at the end of exit ramp. Proceed east on State Highway 49 to the refuge. (Alternative route: Travel on various county highways from Fond du Lac to Oakfield and south to State Highway 49.) 

Help reduce greenhouse gas emissions - carpool with friends and family! 



Last Updated: Mar 16, 2016
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