When you're looking to explore Wisconsin's wild, natural beauty, there are a lot of places to choose from. Whether it's exploring the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the Door County peninsula, the Great River Road along Wisconsin's western border, the vast miles of untouched state parks and forests all over the state, or the scenic wonders of the Driftless area, Wisconsin is home to some truly incredible scenery. One place that should be on your list of places to explore this summer is Horicon Marsh, located in south-central Wisconsin. It's one of Wisconsin's hottest birdwatching destinations and is a truly peaceful place to spend one or more days this summer. At the end of a long day in this scenic paradise, relax in the comfortable accommodations offered by one of our nearby Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts.
Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
Horicon Marsh, known as the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the country, encompasses 33,000 acres of land; perfect for a day of hiking, boating, birding, photography, fishing, and wildlife viewing. By far, the most popular activity at Horicon Marsh is birding. This protected land is home to a broad variety of marsh birds, including ducks, geese, pelicans, herons, egrets, cormorants, and so much more. In addition to marsh-loving birds, the surrounding woodlands provide excellent habitat for a variety of songbirds, especially during the spring and fall bird migrations. More than 300 species of birds have been found at Horicon Marsh over the years, including a healthy variety of rare and endangered bird species. Beyond birds, there is plenty of other wildlife to enjoy at Horicon Marsh. There are quite a few nocturnal species, but daytime visitors also often see white-tailed deer, muskrats, mink, and river otters in the shallow waters.
There are 5 miles of hiking trails throughout Horicon Marsh, including a 1400 ft. accessible boardwalk, which allows you to explore its features and inhabitants in more depth. The Horicon Habitat Trail is one of the most popular. Cyclists can also enjoy views of the Horicon Marsh from Wild Goose State Trail, along the western edge of the marsh. But, for a truly up-close experience, consider renting a canoe to navigate your way around the marsh. The Horicon Marsh Canoe Trail is an interpretive guide that will help you make the most of your time on the water. You can also take a guided boat tour through Horicon Marsh aboard an environmentally friendly pontoon boat. These tours operate seasonally, from May 1 - October 13, 2019. They offer a variety of tours, including a birding adventure, a sunset cruise, and a seasonal autumn sights tour in September and October. In addition to these experiences, Friends of Horicon Marsh also offers an array of exceptional events and programs, geared toward helping you make the most of your time at this incredible place.
Plan Now for Fall Migration at Horicon Marsh
Now is a great time to plan ahead for the fall bird migration at Horicon Marsh. It's a bird lovers dream! Horicon Marsh is well-known for its flocks of Canadian Geese. In fact, each fall, the world's largest flock of Canadian Geese migrates through these very lands, with their peak numbers reaching upwards of 200,000 birds! The geese start to show up in early to mid-September, with their population peaking in mid-October. As an added bonus, fall colors also reach their peak around the same time, making for a truly beautiful and memorable getaway. Rooms book up quickly, though, so you'll want to make your plans well in advance!
When it's time to choose your lodging, consider one of our member Bed and Breakfasts in south-central Wisconsin. Our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts offer authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences, each with exceptional hospitality that will not disappoint. Find your Inn, and book your getaway today!