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Rock Falls Wildlife Area

Rock Falls Wildlife Area is 268-acre property in Dunn County located south of Rock Falls, between County Highway H and State Highway 85. Access can be gained through parking areas on the west side of Highway H and at the end of 890th Street. Roadside parking is also available along 90th Avenue.

Rock Creek flows through this property from south to north for approximately 1/2 mile. The areas adjacent to the creek are dominated by mature white pines on the north end of the property and oaks on the south end. There are large impoundments to both the east and west of the creek, each surrounded by at least 80 acres of warm-season tall grass prairie, providing excellent habitat for waterfowl and grassland birds. The impoundment to the west is part of an extensive cattail marsh, which provides high quality winter cover for pheasants. One-acre food plots can be found on each side of the creek.

This property lies within the boundary of the Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area. Management on a landscape scale is feasible due to the proximity of federal lands and several long-term conservation easements through programs such as the Federal Wetland Reserve Program.


Acquisition of lands for the Rock Falls Wildlife Area began in 1980 and concluded by 1988. The department received a great deal of assistance and support from local sportsmen's clubs, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. This project allowed for protection of a portion of Rock Creek, restoration of wetlands and development of upland cover for grassland birds. This area, along with a nearby Federal Waterfowl Production Area, were the focal points for a wild pheasant restoration project that took place between 1997 and 1999.

The management objectives for the property include protecting the waters of Rock Creek, promoting waterfowl, grassland bird and shorebird usage by manipulating water levels on the west impoundment, managing the grasslands for nesting and managing the wooded areas for mature white pine and oak.

The property is monitored for invasive species. Seasonal drawdowns may occur on the west impoundment to create feeding opportunities for shorebirds and migrating waterfowl in the fall. The grasslands are maintained through mowing and prescribed burning. The woodlands are monitored for oak wilt and managed for mature oak and white pine.

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


The Rock Falls Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Birding;
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Fishing;
  • Hiking;
  • Hunting (especially noted for deer, pheasant, turkey, waterfowl and small game);
  • 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.