Blue Heron Landing | Midwest Living

Blue Heron Landing

311B Mill St.
Horicon  Wisconsin  53032
United States
(920) 485-4663
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Midwest Living Review

Melanie McManus
For an up-close tour of Horicon Marsh, take a guided boat tour or rent one of Blue Heron Landing's canoes or kayaks.

There are many ways to view Horicon Marsh and its varied wildlife: on foot, on bicycle, in your car. But the best way is by boat. The birds and other wildlife aren't nearly as wary of humans when they're gliding quietly through the water, as opposed to when they're walking or biking. So you get much closer peeks at herons, bald eagles, pelicans, warblers and other marsh residents.Blue Heron Landing, in downtown Horicon, has been showing visitors the marsh by boat since 1963, when Roland Zuelsdorf started the business with an eight-person pontoon boat. Today his son, Marc, and daughter-in-law, Gayl, run the business, which has expanded to offer a wide variety of tours, guided birding adventures, sunset cruises, and canoe and kayak rentals. (Tip: paddling through the marsh, on your own or with Marc as your guide, is by far the best way to experience the marsh. You can get almost nose-to-beak with the birds, and you truly feel part of the marsh environment.)Marc Zuelsdorf is intimately familiar with the marsh, its wildlife and the local community. His tours are informative and interesting to both novice and experienced birders. Gayl, who typically runs the office, is an excellent local ambassador who's happy to help you figure out what else to do in the area, where to eat, and so forth.While the company's pontoon fleet isn't state-of-the-art, the pontoons are camouflaged to better blend in with the marsh and thus enhance the birding experience. They're also equipped with four-stroke, extra-quiet motors so the wildlife (and other visitors) aren't disturbed. Similarly, its kayaks are all green -- not bright yellow or red or orange. Because of these and other measures, Blue Heron Landing received Travel Green Wisconsin certification in 2007, making it one of a select number of Wisconsin businesses recognized for its commitment to the environment.

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