French Creek State Wildlife Area

This 4,000-acre property is located in Columbia and Marquette Counties. Prior to becoming a state land, the marsh was farmed for the production of a native sedge known as “wiregrass” harvested to manufacture grass rugs. Farmers also cut marsh hay to feed livestock and grazed cattle along French Creek. French Creek is dammed creating a large flowage used by migrating waterfowl, egrets, herons and shorebirds. The Marquette Trail, a unit of the Ice Age Trail, meanders past the property and extends north to John Muir Memorial County Park. This property is on a 5-year drawdown rotation plan to promote seed bearing plants; periodic drawdowns create extensive mud flats that attract a large variety of shorebirds.

French Creek State Wildlife Area map

Directions: Located 6 miles northeast of Portage on Cty F.

Gazetteer: Page 44, C/D-1 (prior to 10th edition). | Page 77, D-8 (10th edition).

Phone: 608/266-2621 (Madison DNR).

Web site: WDNR French Creek State Wildlife Area

Signature Species: Wild Turkey, Rough-legged Hawk & Bald Eagle.

Rare species: Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Red-shouldered Hawk & Great Egret.

Parking: Parking lots.

Nearest food & lodging: Portage.