Birdwatching at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge This Spring

Posted: Thu-Mar-2022

Beautiful view while birdwatching at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge This Spring

If you're looking for excellent places for birdwatching in Wisconsin this spring, don't miss the exceptional Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is part of the famed Horicon Marsh, the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the country and a prime location for year-round birdwatching. 

It's officially spring here in Wisconsin, which means colorful wildflower blooms are on their way, and it's time to head out to the many parks and trails around the state. It's also time for the seasonal bird migration in and through Wisconsin Parks, including the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. 

Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is located about an hour north of Madison and Milwaukee, in the south-central part of the state. Apart from the urban areas and Horicon Marsh, the area is also well-known for its bike trails, popular state parks like Devil's Lake State Park, various lakes, and beautiful stretches of the Wisconsin River. In short, it's a fantastic place to spend a few days for whatever kind of adventure you're interested in.

While you're in this beautiful part of the state, don't miss your chance to stay at one of the best places to stay in Wisconsin. There are a variety of Bed and Breakfasts here, including those in our urban centers and those more rural. An exceptional spring getaway is at your fingertips. Browse through our remarkable collection of Inns and book today.

Birdwatching and spotting a blue Jay at the exceptional Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin this spring

Visit the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge This Spring

Birdwatching is one of our favorite springtime activities, as it's something that you can do from just about anywhere. While places like Horicon National Wildlife Refuge offer an unparalleled opportunity to see rare species and plenty of diversity in birds and wildlife, you can also sit in your backyard or the back yard of an Inn and enjoy this quiet sport. 

Many of our Innkeepers are nature and birdwatching enthusiasts themselves and take to heart Wisconsin's dedication to land stewardship and conservation. Even with so many areas to observe and appreciate nature, there truly is no more enjoyable place for birdwatching in Wisconsin than the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. 

The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the northern 2/3 of the Horicon Marsh - a total acreage of 22,000 acres. It's the perfect place to enjoy a day of birdwatching, of course, but there are also other activities to do here, including hiking, boating, biking, fishing, photographing, and more. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is home to an incredible variety of marsh-loving birds, including ducks, geese, pelicans, herons, egrets, cormorants, and more. Moreover, the surrounding woodlands provide a protected habitat for various songbirds that move through the area in their annual spring and fall migrations.  

There have been more than 300 known species of birds moving through or residing year-round at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, some of which are rare and endangered. But birds aren't the only inhabitants of the cattail marsh. It's also the perfect habitation for various other wildlife, including white-tailed deer, muskrats, mink, and river otters.  

A beautiful red winged black bird at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin

The birdwatching truly is excellent at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, and it would be easy to spend multiple days there searching out a variety of species. There's much else to do in the park, too. Here are some other ways you can spend your day visiting this Wisconsin gem: 

  • 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.
  • Getting out on the water is another great way to experience the tranquil beauty of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, too. It's a great way to get up-close and personal (respectfully, of course) with flora and fauna. Consider renting a canoe to navigate your way around the marsh on the Horicon Marsh Canoe Trail
  • Take a guided boat tour through the Horicon Marsh. They are offered seasonally from early May through mid-October. They offer a variety of tours, including a birding adventure, a sunset cruise, and a seasonal autumn sights tour in September and October.

Best Places to stay near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge: Honeybee Inn Bed and Breakfast

A beautiful sunset near the Horicon Naitonal Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin

The Best Places to Stay Near Horicon Marsh

Though the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge offers some of the best birdwatching in the state of Wisconsin, it's certainly not the only place to see some of the state's most colorful inhabitants. If you're looking for even more Wisconsin bird watching, check out the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail and the National Audubon Society, which lists 88 incredible birding destinations around the state. 

As with most activities you enjoy in Wisconsin, there are many bed and breakfasts near these popular birdwatching destinations - and that includes the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge! At any given time, if you're wondering where the nearest Bed and Breakfast is to you, please use our convenient search tool. You can search by region, amenity, and various other methods to find the perfect Wisconsin Bed and breakfast for your ideal getaway.  

In the meantime, it's time to get outside and enjoy the best of Wisconsin this spring! Stay with one of the best places to stay in Wisconsin - book your room at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge today!

Receive our Newsletter for B&B travel, seasonal packages, Wisconsin fun, and tasty recipes, all delivered to you in our quarterly e-newsletter.