Marsh Visitors LbNA # 20178
|Placed Date||Feb 11 2006|
Last checked/found: 20-SEP-09
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: ~1 hour depending on trail conditions (or 1.5 hours if you do this and Marsh Vegetation box)
Terrain: Mostly level trails through marsh and woods
Note: No dogs allowed on this trail.
To start your quest, take Hwy 33 west approximately 15 miles from Hwy 41 to the city of Horicon. Take Palmatory Street north from Hwy. 33 for approximately .7 miles until you reach a marsh parking lot on your left.
About the marsh: The Wisconsin Glacier sculpted the shallow peat-filled lakebed thousands of years ago creating a basin area 14 miles long and from 3-5 miles wide. The marsh is bounded on the east by a sharply rising ridge of the Niagara Escarpment that rises approximately 250 feet above the marsh to an elevation of 1,100 feet. The land to the west of the marsh rises slowly and is dotted with many small potholes and several shallow lakes. Up to a million Canada geese visit the refuge in the fall. The area is also a Mecca for ducks, cranes, herons, and shorebirds.
Start your quest at the trail sign on the edge of the north side of the parking lot. Head north along the trail, learning about the marsh as you read the informative signs. At the T-intersection, head right and pass the shrub carr. At the next intersection, head left and circle the pond. You’ll see some of the famous marsh vegetation along the way. After circling the pond, head north into the woods. When you reach a rough road, turn right and then take a left to continue on the trail. (Unless you are also looking for the Marsh Vegetation box. If this is the case, please follow the other clues first.)
Always stay to the left and read the various information signs along the way. When you come to one that mentions bluebirds, stop. Take a bearing of 225 degrees to spot an 8-trunked tree. You can go there directly, or continue along the path for approximately 60 steps and then ascend the hill if you'd like to avoid most of the thorny things. The geese have created a nest among the trunks near the base of the tree. Please be sure to conceal the visitors well when you decide to take flight.
* Up to 1 million Canada geese migrate through the refuge each fall. On a peak fall day, there will be up to 300,000 geese in the area.
* A full-grown Canada goose will have a wingspan of 6 feet and weigh from 7-10 lbs.
* A Canada goose may live for 30 years or more in captivity. Because of a variety of natural hazards few live more than 5 years in the wild.
* The geese can fly 60 miles per hour if they have to, but they usually prefer to go about 40. When they make their long migration flights they often have a tail wind that raises their ground speed to 70 MPH This means it takes about 12 hours of flying time from their Canadian nesting grounds to east-central Wisconsin and about 7 hours from here to their winter range (where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi River, about 450 miles away)
* On daily feeding flights the geese usually fly at a height from 100 to 1,000 feet depending on wind and disturbance from people. When migrating they fly much higher, finding an altitude with a wind that is going their direction. Geese have been seen as high as 9,000 feet..
Return to the trail and continue along until you reach the parking lot.
After your hike you might want to stop at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center which is only 2 miles away. To get there, head back towards Hwy 33. Turn left on any side street before that and then turn left again on Hwy 28. You'll see signs for the Center which is located on the left side of the road. You could also visit the marsh headquarters and visitor center located 3-4 miles north of Kekoskee on County Road Z. (Kekoskee is approximately 7.5 miles northeast of the parking lot where this hike starts.)
I’d really appreciate an email message to let me know how the box is doing if you can spare the time!