Get your friends and family together and come to the 5th annual “Tour De Marsh” at Horicon Marsh in Dodge County, Wis. On Saturday, June 6 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join bicyclists, hikers, motorcyclists and autos touring around and through the famous Horicon Marsh. Named one of the “Seven Wonders of Wisconsin” and a “Wetland of International Importance”, seeing and experiencing Horicon Marsh is a great opportunity to enjoy one of nature’s treasures. There is no entry fee and it is open to everyone. Choose from 40, 18 or 8-mile routes based on one’s comfort level.
Tour maps and refreshments will be available at designated spots along the route. The map is a suggested route for a self-guided tour. Participants can start at one of the designated spots and then proceed on their tour. Each stop will have parking, refreshments, maps, information cards and restrooms available. A drawing will be held for participants that visit all five stops around the tour. There will also be a guided 8 mile bicycle tour on flat terrain from at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Total loop of guided tour is eight miles. Interested parties should meet at the main parking lot off of Hwy 49 on the north end of the marsh. Bring binoculars and cameras for viewing and photo opportunities.
Routes along Dike Rd. and Old Marsh Road open two major nature areas allowing visitors into the heart of refuge areas which allows for scenic views of nature. Featured stops along the route include the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center where visitors can see the Horicon Marsh Story movie and wildlife exhibits and the Horicon National Wildlife Federal Refuge Visitor Center to view and study marsh exhibits. Ledge Park and Marsh Haven are also attractions on the map. Prime overlooks like Palmatory St., Bayview Rd., and Bud Cook Hiking Area offer breathtaking views of the marsh and country side.
On Saturday, June 27, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. you can join fellow paddlers at Horicon Marsh to paddle the six and half mile water trail through Horicon Marsh. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' wildlife staff will be on hand to help guide you through while educating you and other outdoor enthusiasts about the wildlife, history, and management of the marsh as you make your way downstream through Horicon Marsh into the Rock River.
Features of the day are the 6.5 mile trail at the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area, listening and talking to wildlife staff from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who will be posted at various stopping places along the marked canoe/kayak trail , a free shuttle back to your vehicle, help loading and unloading your vessel, and free parking. The trail starts at the Green Head Boat Landing and ends at Nebraska St. Landing in Horicon.
The DNR wildlife staff will briefly cover topics focusing on the birds of the marsh, how they are managed and be available for any other questions. A Wildlife Biologist will also be along the route in an airboat to show people one of the many management tools that are used on Horicon Marsh. This is a great opportunity to talk with experts and learn from some of the people that work at the marsh every day. Also, restroom facilities will be available at the beginning and end of the trail.
If you have your own canoe or kayak, two free shuttles will be provided by Johnson Bus. The shuttles will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Nebraska Street Boat Landing in Horicon back to your vehicle at Green Head Boat Landing. Anyone launching after 11:00 a.m. should park at the take out and take the shuttle back to launch because you will not finish in time to take advantage of the shuttle.
If you would like to participate but don't have your own vessel, you can rent one at Horicon Marsh Boat Tours in Horicon. For your convenience, Horicon Marsh Boat Tours will be running their own shuttles to the launch site at Greenhead for an additional fee. To inquire about canoe or kayak rental, contact Blue Heron Boat Landing at 920.485.4663 or visit www.horiconmarsh.com.
For trail maps or other paddle Horicon Marsh information contact 920.387.7893 or go to www.horiconmarsh.org. GPS coordinates for Greenhead boat landing are N43 30 19.5 W088 35 31.3 and physical address is N8600 Green Head Road, Horicon, WI 53032.