Horicon Marsh

Horicon Marsh, Mayville

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russianwulfgar
Milwaukee, WI1.480 katkı
This isn't a woodland hike so you'll most likely be in the sun for a good portion of your time walking around the marsh. Either wear a hat and long sleeve shirt and pants, or bring sunscreen and bug spray, to ward off sunburn and ticks. When we went there in early June, there weren't mosquitos, but there were some small clouds of gnats. There's goose poop everywhere on the trails, so you're looking down a lot so as to not step in it. On the patio behind the visitor center there are nesting birds in the eaves of the building so there is bird poop everywhere, too. You'll need to clean off the picnic tables before eating. We saw 20 different bird and animal species on our visit and had a wonderful time hiking around the marsh, packing in as much as we could, even driving out on the gravel road to see the dam and eagles in the middle of the marsh. We also drove to the Federal north end visitor center, but it was closed by the time we got there. We wished we had started our trip earlier in the day. Driving from Milwaukee it was about an hour's ride and we arrived at 11:30 a.m., too late to see everything there was before closing time. Also bring binoculars as the wildlife can be far away, and bring a bird identification book as you'll see lots of different and unfamiliar birds.
Yazıldığı tarih: 10 Haziran 2022
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ImmerWandern
Palos Heights, IL7.233 katkı
Çiftler
It was quite the haul from the southwest suburbs of Chicago to this natural jewel but well worth the effort even though it made for quite a long day trip. Horicon is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the US. It is a critical layover for many migrating waterfowl as well as other birds. It is probably most renowned for the fall Canada geese migration when as many as 200,000 drop by.

We started off at the south end of the marsh which is administered by Wisconsin as a State Wildlife Area. We then worked our way along the eastern border north to the federal Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.

At the southern portion we parked at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. There was a nice overlook of the marsh at this point. It was also the location of “Curly” a 7,000 pound sculpture of a woolly mammoth made of rebar.

We descended to the trail starting out on our left or to the west and took a clockwise direction around the Bachhuber Impoundment Loop, a distance of 2.3 miles. Right at the start looked out onto an area of open water and mudflats. The birds we saw here included Canada geese, mallards, Kildeer, greater yellowlegs (sandpipers), a flock of tree swallows, a trio of double-crested cormorants, pied-beaked grebes, and a lonesome solo great blue heron. As we looped around Bachhuber we watched more Canada geese arrived and landed on open water. A small flock of colorful wood ducks emerged from amongst the reeds at the northwest corner of the loop. A few sandhill cranes flew past in the distance.

We took a much shorter hike at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Office Visitors Center, the “Sense of Wonder Discovery” trail. There was a small floating viewing platform looking out onto a marsh but not much to see.

Along the way we spotted a large flock of Canada geese roosting in a newly-cut cornfield as well a as large raucous flock of red-winged black birds swooping into and over the cornfield left standing.

We then headed up to the Bud Cook Hiking Area. The broad grass trails were in excellent condition and a please you walk on. We had to cut our hike short as it began to rain. We did spot more more sandhill cranes as well as a Northern Harrier. The parking lot at trailhead also gave us an overlook of the part of the marsh ecosystem that is Horicon. We could see a few swans down below, likely trumpeters.

Speaking of raptors we also spotted an America Kestrel perch a high tension wire looking for prey. We also spotted a “kettle” of 20+ turkey vultures circling to our north.

We ended up at the northern-most point of Horicon Marsh where we explored the area around the Egret Trail boardwalk. There was a short looping driving circuit that took us there. We did not spot egrets but flocks of mallards and blue-winged teal. Of course ever-present Canada geese and sandhill cranes flying overhead. We hiked around the nearby grassland and woods and first heard then spotted golden-crowned kinglets and yellow-dumped warblers.

At the northern edge of the marsh, just off Rte 49, we spotted more flocks as we headed home. Then a trio of trumpeter swans and flocks of American coot. The skies were getting busy in the late afternoon as geese and cranes started flying in from the surrounding fields. We stayed awhile and absorbed all that was happening. It was with much reluctance that we got back into the car.

We had last visited Horicon Marsh over 20 years ago. We had seen Canada geese and red-wing blackbirds. We didn’t know better but I recall our having just explored one area. Furthermore we were not as adept at birdwatching as we are now. My advice is to take the time to visit different areas and to be patient. Horicon marsh in the fall is a wondrous place to visit.
Yazıldığı tarih: 15 Kasım 2021
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nondee j
Madison, WI4 katkı
the views on the overlook off of main road was great. Dike road drive was terrific. THe floating boardwalk is worth it. We went with a disabled scooter- and it worked beautifully.
THe people at the nature centers are very helpful.
Yazıldığı tarih: 6 Ekim 2021
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Brad M
Skokie, IL72 katkı
I wish this site was not so unique, but unfortunately, there are few places left on Earth (and way fewer in the Midwest) that are as well protected, quiet, and beautiful. We timed this right with the migrations and got to watch geese and cranes flying over our heads in formation. A knowledgeable docent was able to help identify the different birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals that we saw. The walking paths are well maintained and the visitors center is comfortable and helpful. The marshes are far enough away from roads so that we not only heard the honking of geese, but the softer sound of their wings flapping over our heads.
Yazıldığı tarih: 4 Ekim 2021
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James M
West Lafayette, IN2.105 katkı
We limited our exploration to a bit of the trails and boardwalk at the visitor center ... where we were able to see TWO ducks on the water. The young man at the desk was helpful and friendly, made recommendations. We drove a bit on the perimeter of the marsh but saw no wildlife. Maybe mid-September was a bad time of year for viewing.
Yazıldığı tarih: 24 Eylül 2021
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melissawisco
Kiel, WI62 katkı
A nice long floating dock to walk in. Several opportunities to see where geese sleep and spot other bird species. Floating dock is stroller friendly. Paths are wide to walk as well as bike.
Yazıldığı tarih: 14 Haziran 2021
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Roger K
Rio Rancho, NM456 katkı
We spent an hour or so on a beautiful fall (October) day mostly driving thru the Horicon Marsh, entering from Hwy 49.

Not a lot of birds here this time of year but the marsh is a special place, and has been a significant part of my wife's experiences growing up in Waupun.

The area off of Hwy 49 has a 3 mile driving loop, a number of walking trails and a boardwalk system built over the marsh.

Access is free.
Yazıldığı tarih: 10 Ekim 2020
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Rodney B
Waukesha, WI1.115 katkı
Aile
Went here with the family. It's a nice place to walk with pretty views. There is a nature center, restrooms, and trails and boardwalk to view the many birds that travel through. Check out the nearby Ledge County Park for some small canyons about five minutes away. Pretty area and worth a visit, but probably best once things start to grow in the summer.
Yazıldığı tarih: 3 Mayıs 2020
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AndrewFromMadison
Madison, WI3.149 katkı
The highlight of this super-marsh - one of the biggest fresh-water marshes in the United States - are the birds that use this as a nesting grounds, or a stopover on their migration routes. While I am not a avid bird watcher, I like coming here and catching some cool bird on camera that I didn't have before. Horicon sports numerous trails, auto-tour, three visitor centers/museums and more. Its upper part is a National Wildlife Refuge, while the lower part is a State Wildlife Area.
Yazıldığı tarih: 15 Nisan 2020
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scottagordonsg
Highland Park, IL213 katkı
The Horicon Marsh area, an extension of the Kettle Moraine plain is a true gem of a freshwater destination worthy of hiking and sightseeing anytime of the year.
Yazıldığı tarih: 6 Mart 2020
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