National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Many opportunities exist to enjoy Horicon National Wildlife Refuge including opportunities for wildlife observation, photography, hiking, fishing, educational programs, guided tours, bicycling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, deer and upland game hunting and trapping.
Location and Contact Information
The 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 Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. At more than 33,000 acres, Horicon Marsh is one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States and is a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating ducks and Canada geese. It is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance, as both Globally and State Important Bird Areas and is also a unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve.
Horicon National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to provide an undisturbed sanctuary for a number of migratory birds and waterfowl including the redhead duck as well as to provide opportunities for people to connect with nature.
At more than 33,000 acres in size, Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater marsh in the United States. Recognized as a Wetland of International Importance, as both Globally and State Important Bird Areas and a unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve, the marsh provides critical habitat for more than 300 species of birds as well as muskrats, red foxes, turtles, frogs, bats, dragonflies, fish and much more. Fall migration on the refuge offers impressive numbers of Canada geese, ducks and sandhill cranes while spring migration offers a variety of unique waterbirds and songbirds.