MARSH HAVEN NATURE CENTER offers almost three miles of hiking trails that wind through prairie, woodland, and wetland habitat. There is no fee to hike the trails, but donations to help maintain the facility are always appreciated. We invite you to take some time to relax in nature, take a hike, and enjoy the beauty of our local wildlife, native plants, and towering trees. Stop and rest on the Leopold benches provided throughout the series of trails here at Marsh Haven Nature Center. Each season brings a special beauty to be enjoyed and appreciated.
Trails are open to the public daily 10am to 4pm during our open season mid-April through mid-December. Make sure vehicles are out of the parking lot by 4pm as gates are locked at that time.
VANDER WOUDE WETLAND TRAIL
Shirley Vander Woude of Waupun, a skilled and dedicated volunteer and a member of our board of directors, donated a great deal of her time constructing and maintaining Marsh Haven Nature Center. To thank her for all her hard work, this trail was dedicated in her honor on November 7, 1992. This beautiful trail, just under one mile in length, skirts the edge of Lake LaPresto, crosses over two sections of boardwalk, and connects to the Wild Goose State Recreation Trail.
WALTERS WOODLAND TRAIL
Tom Walters of Markesan, a skilled and dedicated volunteer, and founding member of Marsh Haven Nature Center, donated a great deal of his time constructing and maintaining Marsh Haven Nature Center. To thank him for all his hard work, this trail was dedicated in his honor on November 7, 1992. This trail leads through a deciduous forest and parts of a planted pine plantation. The trail is about one-half mile in length and features the Lee Gould Memorial Observation Tower, a 30-foot tall tower overlooking Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.
Bursting with color during the summer season, the Prairie Trail is a one-half mile walk through native prairie grasses and flowering plants. The Respect Our Earth Amphitheater, named in honor of Barbara Harvey, can be found along this trail. Many nestboxes for tree swallows, bluebirds, chickadees, and wrens line the Prairie Trail and offer a glimpse into the life of a cavity nesting bird. Numerous songbirds and the occasional circling hawk can be spotted while out hiking this trail.
All visitors are encouraged to always stay on the trails, pick no flowers or other vegetation, and leave nothing behind but footprints. Dogs are allowed on the trails while on leash, please clean up after your pet. A few poisonous and thorny plants are present, so beware. Identify and avoid wild parsnip, which will cause a chemical burn to the skin.