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Lima Marsh Wildlife Area

Lima Marsh Wildlife Area is a 2,514-acre property comprised of 2,048 acres of state-owned land and 466 acres leased for public hunting. It is located northeast of Milton in Rock County. There are various parking areas scattered across the property including off Willow Road, Hartzell Road and Bowers Lake Road. The property consists of emergent marsh, restored prairie and remnant tamarack swamp.

Lima Marsh Wildlife Area was created in 1956 as a Federal Aid in Fish and Wildlife Restoration project for the purpose of protecting wetlands, preserving pheasant and waterfowl habitat, and to provide public hunting. In 1988, the Lima Bog was designated as a state natural area to recognize and protect it as one of the largest bogs in south central Wisconsin.


Lima Marsh Wildlife Area consists primarily of wetlands with shallow marshes dominated by cattails and scattered areas of deep-water marshes that contain patches of open water. There are several areas with shrub-carr coverage. One unique part of the property is a southern tamarack swamp (which is acidic) surrounding a small alkaline pond. The 124-acre area harbors plants more typical of northern bogs and is designated the Lima Bog State Natural Area. There are scattered uplands on the property, comprised of grasslands, savannah, scattered woodlots and agricultural land. These uplands are relatively small areas, the largest being only 160 acres, and are not interconnected.

General management objectives for the property include:

  • Managing wetlands to maximize wildlife benefits; particularly, habitat for waterfowl nesting, brood rearing, migratory stopover, grassland birds and shorebirds.
  • Maintaining and enhancing the quality and extent of wetlands, with emphasis placed on wet and wet-mesic prairie, sedge meadow, emergent marsh and southern tamarack swamp.
  • Providing large blocks of grassland and forest habitats.
  • Protecting and enhancing populations of threatened and endangered species and species of greatest conservation need.

For more information on master planning for this and other wildlife areas around the state, visit the property planning page.


The Lima Marsh Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Biking;
  • Birding (look for northern species such as black-throated green warbler and white-throated sparrow during summer);
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Hiking (no designated trail);
  • Hunting (especially noted for waterfowl, deer and stocked pheasants);
  • Snowmobiling trail;
  • 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

Find out more about how to adopt this wildlife area.