Seeking Refuge: Wisconsin's Horicon Marsh
A 50-mile loop road reveals Horicon Marsh's varied landscape: open water, cattail marsh, upland prairie and wooded wetlands. But you'll have more fun (and see more animals) when you get out of the car to stretch your legs and picnic along gentle bike and hiking trails. Two visitors centers supply maps and birding brochures, making it easy to explore on your own. If you want more help, the Horicon Marsh Bird Club puts on a four-day festival each May, with lectures, demonstrations and a variety of tours.
The club's president, Jeff Bahls, recommends a walk along Dike Road. "You never know what you're going to find there," he says. The 3-mile gravel road pierces the marsh's interior, taking visitors past three blue pools where waterfowl and shorebirds congregate. Spiky cattails poking out of the water attract rails, wrens, sparrows and even Sandhill cranes.