Swan Lake Wildlife Area

Portage, Wisconsin

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This adventurous hike goes through rugged terrain, including some stretches of standing water on the path that may leave quite a bit of mud on the cuffs of your hiking pants. (Be sure to wear them!) However, those who brave this path in a state wildlife area are in for a treat. At the halfway point the path snakes through thick grass to the banks of the Fox River, an isolated and wild spot that is perfect for spotting any number of waterfowl. Snakes and frogs are also common in the wetlands that dominate along this hike. It’s possible to stop and sit for an hour or more just watching the different wildlife along the low pools thick with vegetation. Pack a lunch and make a morning or afternoon of it.

Swan Lake Wildlife Area Professional Review and Guide

"This adventurous hike goes through rugged terrain, including some stretches of standing water on the path that may leave quite a bit of mud on the cuffs of your hiking pants. (Be sure to wear them!) However, those who brave this path in a state wildlife area are in for a treat.

At the halfway point the path snakes through thick grass to the banks of the Fox River, an isolated and wild spot that is perfect for spotting any number of waterfowl. Snakes and frogs are also common in the wetlands that dominate along this hike. It’s possible to stop and sit for an hour or more just watching the different wildlife along the low pools thick with vegetation. Pack a lunch and make a morning or afternoon of it."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Portage
Distance: 3.8 miles
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Spring through fall
Additional Use: Hunting, Birding
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: DNR Service Center, W7303 County Hwy. CS, Poynette, WI 53955; (608) 635-8105; dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/wildlifeareas/swanlake.html/wildlife_areas/swanlake.htm
Local Maps: USGS Portage, WI; area map available online from trail contact
Driving Directions: Directions to Swan Lake Wildlife Area

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May 2018