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Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Trumpeter Swans and other waterfowl at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Swans at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge  (Photo: Charlie Luthin)

One of the “crown jewel” natural destinations of Central Wisconsin is the 44,000-acre Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor Center. The Refuge, established in 1939, is comprised of a mosaic of natural landscapes – various wetland types, pine-oak woodland and savanna, prairie and open water. By carefully managing these diverse habitats, the Refuge has been successful at reintroducing, restoring and attracting a tremendous number of wildlife species. Rare species that inhabit the Refuge include the timber wolf, black bear, badger, trumpeter swan, whooping crane, bald eagle, whippoorwill, red-headed woodpecker, golden-winged warbler, bobolink and Karner blue butterfly. Prairie plant species, rare elsewhere, are abundant on the Refuge. The open water (“pools”) and wetlands attract countless ducks, geese, shorebirds and other wetland birds and other wildlife, especially during spring and fall migration.

The new Visitor Center offers interpretive displays, maps and information, programs and events, and a well-stocked gift store. Various trails emanate from the visitor center, offering access to wetlands and woodlands and affording ample opportunity to observe wildlife. The Center is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Saturday year round. An observation tower that provides a “crane’s eye view” of the Refuge is located a half-mile from the Visitor Center.

Information kiosk at Necedah NWR  (Photo: Charlie Luthin)

Information Kiosk

Necedah NWR Walkway  (Photo: Charlie Luthin)

Necedah NWR Walkway

A visitor to Necedah can enjoy countless recreational activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, fishing, hunting, environmental education, interpretation, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and traveling the local township roads that crisscross the refuge by car or bike, not to mention enjoying dramatic autumn colors. At least 230 bird species will tantalize the avid or casual birder!

Whooping Crane

Whooping Cranes have been reintroduced to Necedah NWR   


Destination Information

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
N11385 Headquarters Road
Necedah, WI 54646

Phone: (608) 565-2551

Website: Necedah National Wildlife Refuge Home Page

Size: 43,696 acres

County: Juneau County

Property Managed By: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Google Map Directions (opens new window)

Driving Directions: From Necedah, travel 3 miles west on Hwy 21, turn north onto Headquarters Road and travel about 2 miles to the refuge headquarters.

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