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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Horicon Marsh: Blizzard Conditions

March 2, 2012

Though it was a warm winter for 2011-2012 (8 days after this hike, we were able to camp), there were times we were hit with blizzard-like conditions. On this particular day, as we drove to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, we were hit with fog, sleet, rain, and wind gusts up to 30 mph. The visibility was poor but we made it to the marsh and did a quick tour. 

The park had two sections; one section was maintained by the state of WI, while the other by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A dam was built in the area in the mid 1800's thus flooding the marsh into a man made lake, Horicon Lake. When the dam was later removed, the land was retsored to its natural marsh form.

When we arrived, we stayed in the northern section which was maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We drove on the "ternpike" as the weather was not great for a long hike and we weren't well prepared. No animals were seen but the lack of people due to the weather made the frozen landscape surreal. We did a short hike on the floating boardwalk via the Egret Trail. By the end of the hike, we were covered in sleet and soaking wet. The hike was short but enthralling and we vowed to come back and hopefully catch a glimpse of some of the animals and birds that pass by the marsh. 

Drive to the marsh

Sloppy weather, rough drive


Road conditions: roads were slick

 Horicon Marsh

 Floating boardwalk on Egret Trail

 Egret Trail (cont.)

Division between the cattails (left) and wetlands (right)

Largest cattail marsh


M and me

Losing visibility

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