U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

Fox River
National Wildlife Refuge

sandhill crane with wings spread

Marquette County, WI   
E-mail: foxriver@fws.gov
Phone Number: 920-387-2658
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Fox River Refuge is an important breeding and staging area for the greater sandhill crane.
Gray horizontal line
Fox River National Wildlife Refuge

Fox River National Wildlife Refuge, managed by staff at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, encompasses 1,054 acres of wetland and upland habitat along the Fox River in Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Refuge staff restores, enhances, and preserves the oak savanna upland and sedge meadow wetland habitats historically found in extensive areas along the Fox River. Staff manages the wildlife populations that use these habitats, with special emphasis on those species dependent upon large expanses of natural marsh, such as the greater sandhill crane.

Other management objectives include protecting the habitats of any Federal or State endangered or threatened species that may utilize the refuge, such as the state threatened blanding's turtle, and to make the refuge available for outdoor recreation, environmental education, and other public use activities compatible with the above objectives.

Getting There . . .
From Portage, take Highway 33 east to County Highway F north; from Montello, take Highway 22 south to County Highway F south. Refuge is on west side of County Highway F, across from John Muir County Park.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

Google Maps opens in a new window

NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

horizontal line

Wildlife and Habitat

The majority of the refuge is sedge meadow, wet prairie, and shallow marsh wetlands dominated by cattails and many species of sedges and grasses. However, other wetland types such as fens, lowland forest, shrub-carr thickets, deep marsh, and open water occur on the refuge as well.

Learn More>>

The majority of the current refuge was acquired in 1979 for the purpose of protecting an area known as the Fox River Sandhill Crane Marsh from further drainage, as well as preserving associated upland habitat.

Learn More>>

The refuge is closed to the public, with the exception of licensed deer hunters during designated time periods of the deer archery and gun seasons.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
Learn More >>

Management Activities
Wildlife and habitat management and restoration techniques include prescribed burning; selective timber and woody shrub harvest; seeding of native prairie forbs, grass, and tree species; and exotic plant control. Wetlands are restored using ditch filling, and stream course reestablishment. These restoration and management activities create biologically diverse, native, and productive wildlife habitats.