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Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area


Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area is located about 1 mile southwest of the City of Lodi and straddles the Dane and Columbia county border. This property contains an intact and diverse mix of wetland and upland ecosystems in a very scenic setting. The Lodi Marsh State Natural Area located within the wildlife area, is a large wetland complex with numerous springs and spring runs, southern sedge meadow, fen, shallow marsh, shrub-carr with some cattail marsh and disturbed-low prairie. The principal upland habitat types are oak woodlands, oak openings, surrogate grasslands and small remnant dry prairie.

The wildlife area provides excellent hunting opportunities for turkey, deer, squirrel and rabbit. Pheasant hunting opportunities are supported by the department pheasant stocking program. The ongoing grassland restoration efforts are improving the quality of the habitat for grassland birds and pheasants. Trapping for muskrat, beaver and otter is also popular at Lodi Marsh.

A 2.5-mile segment of the 1,000-mile Ice Age Trail [exit DNR] crosses the property and is regularly used by hikers and birders who enjoy the scenic vistas and natural setting. Other activities include morel hunting in the spring, the occasional canoe paddlers willing to portage fallen trees in the wetland and winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Management Objectives

The management objectives for Lodi Marsh State Wildlife Area include:

  • Enhancing the diverse, high-quality habitats for game species, pollinators and non-game species that make this site unique.
  • Providing a high-quality recreational experience for hikers, anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Department staff and volunteers have been working to restore prairie, savannas and woodlands throughout the property using prescribed fire, reseeding of native plants and control of invasive plants. As funding allows, we are using a forestry mower to reclaim brush and trees that have taken over grass fields and the wetlands. Existing grassland units are being enlarged through the removal of trees that fragment adjacent fields. This will enhance habitat conditions for the state-threatened Henslow's sparrow as well as provide better brood cover for turkeys and pheasants. Existing grassland units are being diversified through interseeding to improve habitat for moths and other pollinators.

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


The Lodi Marsh Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Birding [exit DNR];
  • Canoeing;
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Firewood permits available upon request;
  • Fishing;
  • Hiking (Ice Age Trail [exit DNR]);
  • Hunting (waterfowl, turkey, pheasant [stocked], deer, squirrel and rabbit;
  • Trapping;
  • Wild edibles/gathering; and
  • Wildlife viewing.


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

Find out more about how to adopt this wildlife area.