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Peshtigo Harbor Unit

Green Bay West Shores Wildlife Area

Peshtigo Harbor Unit is a 4,894-acre property located in Marinette County. This area has extensive marshes at the mouth of the Peshtigo River and bottomland hardwood forests along upstream portions of the river. A little over half of the property is forested with a mixture of oak, aspen and red maple.

The wildlife area can be accessed from either side of the Peshtigo River downstream from Peshtigo. Take Front Street to Hale Road and follow Harbor Road to the wildlife area on the south side of the River. County Highway BB provides access on the north side of the river.

History of management

Property in the Peshtigo Harbor Unit was first purchased by the state in 1954. This unit of the Green Bay West Shore Wildlife Area is composed of abandoned agricultural lands and marshlands that were mowed for marsh hay. A settlement, Peshtigo Harbor, once existed at the mouth of the Peshtigo River and pilings from wharves are still visible in Green Bay. Coastal marshes in this unit are some of the best remaining on the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Management objective

Currently, forest, grassland, and wetland management are all important activities on the Peshtigo Harbor Unit. Prescribed burns to maintain planted and natural grasslands are conducted annually. Marsh burns to control brush invasion of sedge meadows are also regular features of the management program. Timber management to provide wildlife habitat results in timber sales and other activities that promote new forests of desirable types. The Peshtigo Harbor Unit has been recognized as an Important Bird Area [exit DNR] due to its importance to both nesting and migratory birds.

The Peshtigo Harbor Unit is contiguous with the Bloch Oxbow State Natural Area, Badger Gift Lands, and Fisheries Habitat Area lands. There are approximately 5,800 acres of state ownership in this block.


Many recreational opportunities exist at the Peshtigo Harbor Unit.

  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Canoeing*
  • Cross country skiing**
  • Fishing
  • Hiking**
  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing

*A self-guided canoe trail has been established on the Peshtigo River running through the wildlife area. A brochure available at the canoe launch below the dam in Peshtigo provides ecological and historical information on several sites along the River.

**A skiing/hiking trail with an educational component has been established along trails in the interior of the property. Both of these trails were developed in cooperation with the Marinette County Land and Water Conservation Department and UW-Extension and funded by the Coastal Watershed Management Program.


Download [PDF] a map of this property.

If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.