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Balsam Branch Wildlife Area

Balsam Branch Wildlife Area is a 180-acre property located in Polk County. The property consists of marsh, pond, prairie grass fields, stream bottom and upland and lowland forests.

Find the property by following Highway 8 east of St. Croix Falls for 5.5 miles. Turn south on Highway 65 and go 1.5 miles. Turn east on 115th Avenue and go one mile. Turn south on 150th Street and go 1/2 mile to parking area. There is also a parking area on the south end of the property from Highway C.


The property was donated to the state of Wisconsin in 1967 by the American Game Association of New York. The project was developed to protect a very nice small, unnamed lake and to provide wildlife habitat for hunting and enjoyment in Polk County. A large rock with a plaque on it recognizing this donation can be found on the south end of the parking lot on the north end of the property.

Today, prescribed burns are used to maintain the prairie grass fields.


Balsam Branch Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Birding;
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Hiking (no designated trail);
  • Hunting (especially noted for waterfowl, deer, ruffed grouse, squirrels and pheasants);
  • Trapping;
  • Wild edibles/gathering; and
  • Wildlife viewing.

Download [PDF] a map of this property.

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

Useful links
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