Birding, Wildlife & Nature

Let's start with a little history lesson in Wisconsin Birding, Wildlife, & Nature. Wisconsin’s connection to the land plays out poetically in pioneering naturalist Aldo Leopold’s 1949 book “A Sand County Almanac”. This book chronicled his vision of a land ethic and how caring for people cannot be separate from caring for the land. He wrote it from his home in Baraboo, Wisconsin which you can still visit. It's now the Aldo Leopold Foundation, where you can learn how to be a better land steward in your own life.

Other Wisconsin conservation heroes who have come and gone before us include John Muir, who was an early advocate for national parks and a founder of the Sierra Club. Similarly, there's Owen Gromme, the “dean of U.S. wildlife artists”. He brought attention and action to important conservation issues through his paintings. Furthermore, we have Warren Knowles, the state’s 37th governor, who spent his entire life supporting conservation efforts. There's Gaylord Nelson, former governor and U.S Senator who chaired the Wilderness Society and founded Earth Day. Finally, there is George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo. As a result, it is the only place in the world to see the complete collection of all 15 species of cranes.

All this brings us to today. Fascinating, diverse Wisconsin wildlife exists in every corner of the state!

A must-visit for any birder is the Horicon Marsh. It's the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States, hosting nearly 270 species of waterfowl. The marsh is also a major fall stopping point for Canada geese. Eagle watching in Sauk Prairie is spectacular! This is thanks to a section of the Wisconsin River that rarely freezes. Alma, along the Mississippi River, is known for the nesting ground for wintering bald eagles. Don’t overlook urban birding! The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center on the shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee is a stellar birding location. This is all thanks to its mix of woodland, grassland, wetlands and lakefront. Certainly climb the 60-foot-high observation tower for a panoramic view!

The Important Bird Areas program in Wisconsin, administered by the National Audubon Society, is a good starting point to map out birding locations. It points out 88 locations around the state. Likewise, The Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail brochure series from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is a set of five highway-based viewing guides. It offers the best Wisconsin Birding, Wildlife, & Nature watching opportunities in the state.

Along side birding, explore Wisconsin’s State Natural Areas, which protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin’s native landscapes and provide some of the last refuges for rare plants and animals. There are nearly 700 in all, giving you options spanning spring wildflowers to fall colors.

Start your search here on the Wisconsin Birding, Wildlife, & Nature page. Above all, you're certain to find the perfect fit in any corner of the state!

Westphal Mansion Inn Bed & Breakfast

Hartford, Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail
888.936.7463

The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail located entirely within Wisconsin. The trail is also one of 42 designated Wisconsin state trails, and the only one specifically designated as a "State Scenic Trail." From Interstate State Park on the Minnesota border to Potawatomi State Park on Lake Michigan, the Ice Age Trail winds for more than 1,000 miles, following the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin.

Pike Lake State Park
262.670.3400

The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is located in the middle of the Kettle Moraine, a strip of glacial la...

Ice Age Trail
888.936.7463

The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail located entirely within Wisconsin. The trail is also one of 42 designated Wisconsin state trails, and the only one specifically designated as a "State Scenic Trail." From Interstate State Park on the Minnesota border to Potawatomi State Park on Lake Michigan, the Ice Age Trail winds for more than 1,000 miles, following the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin.

Pike Lake State Park
262.670.3400

The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is located in the middle of the Kettle Moraine, a strip of glacial landforms which extends through southeastern Wisconsin to Lake Winnebago. This provides for a beautiful glacial remnant landscape of kames, kettles, and eskers.

Artha Sustainable Living Center Bed and Breakfast

Amherst, Wisconsin

Enjoy a serene retreat in this eco-conscious renovated farmhouse on 90-acres of woods, fields and organic gardens. Sustainably operated: organic linens, solar power and heat, experience this renewable energy oasis! Hands-on workshops and retreats in solar water heating, gardening, yoga, and more.

https://arthaonline.com/artha-yoga/yogaretreatsartha/

Enjoy a serene retreat in this eco-conscious renovated farmhouse on 90-acres of woods, fields and organic gardens. Sustainably operated: organic linens, solar power and heat, experience this renewable energy oasis! Hands-on workshops and retreats in solar water heating, gardening, yoga, and more.

https://arthaonline.com/artha-yoga/yogaretreatsartha/

Eagle Centre House Bed and Breakfast

Eagle, Wisconsin

Eagle Centre House B & B is in the Southern Kettle Moraine Forest, perfect for bird watching. We are located 3-miles from the Forest Headquarters building and are situated on 20-acres, most of which is in conservancy.

Eagle Centre House B & B is in the Southern Kettle Moraine Forest, perfect for bird watching. We are located 3-miles from the Forest Headquarters building and are situated on 20-acres, most of which is in conservancy.

Stewart Inn

Wausau, Wisconsin

One of the best bir watching spots in the state is the George W. Mead & MacMillan Marsh Wildlife Area.  It is an easy 20 minute drive from the Stewart Inn.

One of the best bir watching spots in the state is the George W. Mead & MacMillan Marsh Wildlife Area.  It is an easy 20 minute drive from the Stewart Inn.

Hamilton House Bed and Breakfast

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Hamilton House is nestled in the South East corner of Wisconsin, a short five minute drive to the Kettle Moraine State forest. Hamilton House has several local birding books and binoculars for your use as well as a Wisconsin Birds log book for you to track your sightings. Bring your log book back through out the year to see the change in migration routes.

Hamilton House is nestled in the South East corner of Wisconsin, a short five minute drive to the Kettle Moraine State forest. Hamilton House has several local birding books and binoculars for your use as well as a Wisconsin Birds log book for you to track your sightings. Bring your log book back through out the year to see the change in migration routes.

Crystal River Inn Bed and Breakfast

Waupaca, Wisconsin

We are a certified wildlife habitat and have an inn "life list" of nearly 90 species. A great blue heron owns the bend in the river by us. We see an otter slide on the other side of the river in winter... a great place to bicycle right from our front door. With over 20 lakes and several rivers, this is a fabulous place to get away and experience nature.

We are a certified wildlife habitat and have an inn "life list" of nearly 90 species. A great blue heron owns the bend in the river by us. We see an otter slide on the other side of the river in winter... a great place to bicycle right from our front door. With over 20 lakes and several rivers, this is a fabulous place to get away and experience nature.

Westby House Inn

Westby, Wisconsin

Eagles soar over the Mississippi River from DeSoto Wisconsin to La Crosse Wisconsin along the Great River Road Byway. The Westby House Inn is only 23 minutes East of the River where you can encounter more birding and wildlife along the way.The biggest birding attraction is the fall migration stop of the Tundra Swans in late October/November. Tundra swans rest on Pools 4-11 during the fall migration, moving through just before ice forms on the river. More arrive daily, building up to their peak population during the month of November. By all means swing over to the overlooks along Hwy 26 just s...

Eagles soar over the Mississippi River from DeSoto Wisconsin to La Crosse Wisconsin along the Great River Road Byway. The Westby House Inn is only 23 minutes East of the River where you can encounter more birding and wildlife along the way.The biggest birding attraction is the fall migration stop of the Tundra Swans in late October/November. Tundra swans rest on Pools 4-11 during the fall migration, moving through just before ice forms on the river. More arrive daily, building up to their peak population during the month of November. By all means swing over to the overlooks along Hwy 26 just south of Brownsville, Minnesota, or south of Goose Island on the Wisconsin shore. Only a 30 to 45 minute drive from the inn.

Cobblestone Bed and Breakfast

Birchwood, Wisconsin

Hunt Hill Conservatory is one of the finest Birding and Nature walk in the Northwoods.

Hunt Hill Conservatory is one of the finest Birding and Nature walk in the Northwoods.

Silver Star B&B Inn

Spring Green, Wisconsin

It's a short drive to Bakkens Pond, where many types of waterfowl live, and eagles are often seen along the Wisconsin River.  Dozens of varieties of birds visit our feeders year round, including more hummingbirds than you've ever seen in one place.  You don't even have to leave the comfort of our shaded front porch!  You may also spy raccoons, possum, chipmunks, squirrels and deer as you walk along the paths that surround the 20 acre property.  

It's a short drive to Bakkens Pond, where many types of waterfowl live, and eagles are often seen along the Wisconsin River.  Dozens of varieties of birds visit our feeders year round, including more hummingbirds than you've ever seen in one place.  You don't even have to leave the comfort of our shaded front porch!  You may also spy raccoons, possum, chipmunks, squirrels and deer as you walk along the paths that surround the 20 acre property.  

Dreams of Yesteryear

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

The 36 mile Green Circle Trail has many opportunities for observing bird and wildlife.  Schmeeckle Reserve and the Mead Wildlife Refuge are just a short drive from Dreams of Yesteryear.  And, since we're located only a block from the river, don't forget to sit on our patio and watch our local birds, bunnies, and squirrels.

The 36 mile Green Circle Trail has many opportunities for observing bird and wildlife.  Schmeeckle Reserve and the Mead Wildlife Refuge are just a short drive from Dreams of Yesteryear.  And, since we're located only a block from the river, don't forget to sit on our patio and watch our local birds, bunnies, and squirrels.

White Lace Inn / Door County

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

There are many County Parks, State Parks and Conservation properties in our area for Hiking, Birding and Nature Experiences of all kinds: http://map.co.door.wi.us/parks/Park-Locations.htm , https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/findapark.html , https://www.doorcountylandtrust.org/preserves-of-the-door-county-land-trust-map/ .

There are many County Parks, State Parks and Conservation properties in our area for Hiking, Birding and Nature Experiences of all kinds: http://map.co.door.wi.us/parks/Park-Locations.htm , https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/findapark.html , https://www.doorcountylandtrust.org/preserves-of-the-door-county-land-trust-map/ .

Inn at Wawanissee Point

Baraboo, Wisconsin

We're located atop the Baraboo Range in Sauk County, an ancient rock outcrop blanketed by the largest block of mostly unfragmented deciduous forest remaining in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. The Baraboo Hills span 25 miles, providing habitat for 135 breeding bird species. Our 42-acre estate has several miles of wooded and prairie trails for birding and adjoins the Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area where you'll find the state-threatened Cerulean warbler and Acadian flycatcher. Hike seven state natural areas, three state parks, including Devil's Lake State Park, and several preserves a stone'...

We're located atop the Baraboo Range in Sauk County, an ancient rock outcrop blanketed by the largest block of mostly unfragmented deciduous forest remaining in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. The Baraboo Hills span 25 miles, providing habitat for 135 breeding bird species. Our 42-acre estate has several miles of wooded and prairie trails for birding and adjoins the Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area where you'll find the state-threatened Cerulean warbler and Acadian flycatcher. Hike seven state natural areas, three state parks, including Devil's Lake State Park, and several preserves a stone's throw to 30 minutes away to find birds like the wood thrush; scarlet tanager; red-eyed and yellow-throated vireos; wood pewee; crested flycatcher; redstarts; Cerulean, hooded and Kentucky warblers; veery; hermit thrush; bald eagles (winter here); turkey vultures; blue herons (a rookery at Devil's Lake) and many others. Sandhill cranes nest in the marsh across the road from us. Bird from your car by driving past several of the 26 state natural areas in Sauk County and from rustic roads Orchard, Schara and Ruff in the heart of the wooded hills, and Levee Road along the 16,000-acre Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area along the Wisconsin River, 11 miles northeast of us. The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo is 20 minutes from here. We're in the southern savanna region of the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail; www.wisconsinbirds.org/trail has more details. We provide directions, and have binoculars, a spotting scope and field guides at the Inn.

Pedal'rs Inn

Wales, Wisconsin

There are many schedule bird hikes in the Kettle Moraine/Lake Country Area:- Sunday mornings beginning April 25-May 23 at 7:00 a.m. Lapham Peak State Park hosts hikes lead by bird enthusiast Mike Fort-Retzer Nature Center starting mid-April-early June holds hikes lead by naturalist Larry Kascht.-"Birding by ear" is always available on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. For more details on the area birding visit the Ben Goss Bird Club www.gossbirdclub.org.

There are many schedule bird hikes in the Kettle Moraine/Lake Country Area:- Sunday mornings beginning April 25-May 23 at 7:00 a.m. Lapham Peak State Park hosts hikes lead by bird enthusiast Mike Fort-Retzer Nature Center starting mid-April-early June holds hikes lead by naturalist Larry Kascht.-"Birding by ear" is always available on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. For more details on the area birding visit the Ben Goss Bird Club www.gossbirdclub.org.

Lake Ripley Lodge

Cambridge, Wisconsin

Enjoy the Lake Ripley Preserve for birding and wildlife. 

CamRock County Park trails will wind you through woods and along a creek. 

Enjoy the Lake Ripley Preserve for birding and wildlife. 

CamRock County Park trails will wind you through woods and along a creek. 

Franklin Street Inn Bed and Breakfast

Appleton, Wisconsin

Several local parks and venues are excellent for bird watching, viewing wildlife and enjoyinging nature. Franklin Street Inn Bed and Breakfast, Appleton is central to these areas in the Fox Cities:

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, Menasha
1000 Islands Environmental Center, Kaukauna
Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Appleton (pictured)
High Cliff State Park located on the shores of Lake Winnebago

Several local parks and venues are excellent for bird watching, viewing wildlife and enjoyinging nature. Franklin Street Inn Bed and Breakfast, Appleton is central to these areas in the Fox Cities:

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, Menasha
1000 Islands Environmental Center, Kaukauna
Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Appleton (pictured)
High Cliff State Park located on the shores of Lake Winnebago

Lindsay House Bed and Breakfast

Manawa, Wisconsin

Hartman Creek State Park & Emmons Creek Fishery Area are 2 properties that are popular destinations to canoeists, kayakers, hikers and birders alike. It is located west of Waupaca off of Hwy 54. These 2 areas offer 2,800 acres to explore including parts of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. It offers a mix of habitats including pine and hardwood forests, oak savannas, old field, marshes, lakes and upland meadows. This type of variety attracts lots of birds, upwards of 253 species. 

Hartman Creek State Park & Emmons Creek Fishery Area are 2 properties that are popular destinations to canoeists, kayakers, hikers and birders alike. It is located west of Waupaca off of Hwy 54. These 2 areas offer 2,800 acres to explore including parts of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. It offers a mix of habitats including pine and hardwood forests, oak savannas, old field, marshes, lakes and upland meadows. This type of variety attracts lots of birds, upwards of 253 species. 

Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn

Belleville, Wisconsin

Cameo Rose's 120 acre private retreat provides guests with abundant wildlife viewing including deer, wild turkeys, sandhill cranes and a colorful assortment of birds at the feeders, pond and gardens. Observe Goldfinches, Chickadees, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Blue Jays, Doves and a variety of Woodpeckers year-round and Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, Red Breasted Grossebeaks, Bluebirds and more joining them during warmer months. Window bird feeders give you an intimate look and great photo opportunities!

Cameo Rose's 120 acre private retreat provides guests with abundant wildlife viewing including deer, wild turkeys, sandhill cranes and a colorful assortment of birds at the feeders, pond and gardens. Observe Goldfinches, Chickadees, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Blue Jays, Doves and a variety of Woodpeckers year-round and Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, Red Breasted Grossebeaks, Bluebirds and more joining them during warmer months. Window bird feeders give you an intimate look and great photo opportunities!

Red Forest Bed and Breakfast

Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Spanning 1,500 acres, the Woodland Dunes Nature Center & Preserve, located just west of Two Rivers is home to seven miles of scenic trails through varied landscapes, from open marshes to dense conifer forests.  Join in bird hikes and kayak from the end of Cattail Trail.

Spanning 1,500 acres, the Woodland Dunes Nature Center & Preserve, located just west of Two Rivers is home to seven miles of scenic trails through varied landscapes, from open marshes to dense conifer forests.  Join in bird hikes and kayak from the end of Cattail Trail.

Sweet Autumn Inn

Lake Mills, Wisconsin

Zeloski Marsh, Faville Grove and Rose Lake Sanctuary are just a few destinations for birding that are located within 5 miles of Sweet Autumn Inn.

Zeloski Marsh, Faville Grove and Rose Lake Sanctuary are just a few destinations for birding that are located within 5 miles of Sweet Autumn Inn.

Justin Trails Resort, LLC

Sparta, Wisconsin

Dusty and Rusty, our llamas, love being fed treats from the mailbox.

Observe the deer trails through the woods and in winter across the fields. Collect hickory or walnuts, sumac or red maple leaves, listen to the frogs and toads at any of three ponds.

Take farm tour with Donna aboard the Polaris Ranger.  Hike to the Rock Outcropping with a view of Sparta, Leon and Leon Valley, the Little La Crosse River and neighboring farm fields..

Dusty and Rusty, our llamas, love being fed treats from the mailbox.

Observe the deer trails through the woods and in winter across the fields. Collect hickory or walnuts, sumac or red maple leaves, listen to the frogs and toads at any of three ponds.

Take farm tour with Donna aboard the Polaris Ranger.  Hike to the Rock Outcropping with a view of Sparta, Leon and Leon Valley, the Little La Crosse River and neighboring farm fields..

Hidden Serenity Bed & Breakfast

West Bend, Wisconsin

Explore over three miles of gravel roads by foot or rent a golf cart. A must-see when traveling to the area, this zoo is right across the street from Hidden Serenity. You will experience herds of bison, deer, elk, wild sheep, wolves, cougar, the famous bears and much more, all in natural environments.  We are just a 1-minute drive away.

Explore over three miles of gravel roads by foot or rent a golf cart. A must-see when traveling to the area, this zoo is right across the street from Hidden Serenity. You will experience herds of bison, deer, elk, wild sheep, wolves, cougar, the famous bears and much more, all in natural environments.  We are just a 1-minute drive away.

Honeybee Inn Bed and Breakfast

Horicon, Wisconsin

We are located at the edge of the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Area. Horicon Marsh, the largest fresh-water cattail marsh in the US, is a world renowned birding area with over 33,000 acres. The marsh provides habitat for endangered species and is a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating ducks and Canada geese. It is recognized as one of only 22 'Wetlands of International Importance' in the United States and is both a globally and state important Bird Area and a unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve. Over 300 species of birds have been observed here, making it one of the premier bir...

We are located at the edge of the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Area. Horicon Marsh, the largest fresh-water cattail marsh in the US, is a world renowned birding area with over 33,000 acres. The marsh provides habitat for endangered species and is a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating ducks and Canada geese. It is recognized as one of only 22 'Wetlands of International Importance' in the United States and is both a globally and state important Bird Area and a unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve. Over 300 species of birds have been observed here, making it one of the premier birding areas in the entire United States. The interior of Horicon Marsh is home to a wide variety of marsh birds, from ducks and geese to giant white pelicans, herons, egrets and cormorants. However, the scattered woodlands also provide home to a great array of songbirds that can be found during migration times as well as all summer. Take a pontoon boat tour or rent a canoe or kayak nearby.

Apple Tree Lane Bed and Breakfast

Waupaca, Wisconsin

Some of the best bird watching is right here! When you are done birding on our 7+acres & river frontage, nearby Hartman Creek State Park & Emmons Creek Fishery Area has over 2800 acres for birders to enjoy, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The mix of habitats including pine and hardwood forests, oak savannas, marshes, lakes and upland meadows,attracts lots of birds; the bird list has an impressive 253 species. Some of the signature species include, Scarlet Tanager and Least Flycatcher.

Some of the best bird watching is right here! When you are done birding on our 7+acres & river frontage, nearby Hartman Creek State Park & Emmons Creek Fishery Area has over 2800 acres for birders to enjoy, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The mix of habitats including pine and hardwood forests, oak savannas, marshes, lakes and upland meadows,attracts lots of birds; the bird list has an impressive 253 species. Some of the signature species include, Scarlet Tanager and Least Flycatcher.

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