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Canoeing at Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area

To explore Horicon Marsh by canoe is one of the finest ways to experience the marsh and its wildlife. Keep in mind that you are a visitor in an environment that wildlife calls home — treat it with respect! Please be advised that although the marsh offers many opportunities, there are some necessary restrictions.

Large, floating cattail bogs have broken loose and have been shifting around Horicon Marsh. At times, these large mats have blocked access to the marsh or caused known routes to be inaccessible. The paddling guide maps may not always reflect the most direct route. Please plan your trip accordingly.

  • Four boat landings [PDF] provide access to the marsh: Greenhead Landing, Burnett Ditch and two landings in Horicon. For those who prefer a longer trip, vessels can be launched on the Rock River by putting them in at Kekoskee.
  • Paddling is allowed in the state portion of the marsh only. The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is closed.
  • Horicon Marsh Paddling Route: A printed interpretive guide will direct your trip from the Greenhead Boat Landing to the city of Horicon. Printed copies of the paddling route map [PDF] and brochure [PDF] are available at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center.
  • Along the east branch of the Rock River, you will pass the Fourmile and Cotton Island Heron Rookery. This is a state natural area and formerly the largest nesting colony of great blue herons and great egrets in Wisconsin. Access to the island is prohibited from April 1 to Sept. 15. Enjoy the site from a distance across the river. Do not disturb the nesting birds. The great egret is listed as a threatened species in Wisconsin.
  • Be aware that motorboats are frequently operated on the marsh. Be cautious of the traffic and their wake.
  • In the city of Horicon, there is a dam that produces dangerous currents with a high-voltage electric fish barrier. Do not go near the dam.

Enjoy the marsh and its wildlife as you paddle the area. Please observe all regulations and boating safety rules and help us protect and manage our wildlife and its environment. If you have any questions, please contact the Horicon DNR office at 920-387-7889.