Explore winter on the Horicon Marsh

January 4, 2019
Luminaries light the way for hikers to explore the Horicon Marsh at a candlelight hike event in 2018.

HORICON — The first major snowfall of the winter means it’s time to come out and play in Wisconsin.

The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center has a calendar full of winter activities to keep you busy outdoors until spring arrives.

Wildlife educators are hosting the fourth annual “Walk it off with Winter Wildlife” hike Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. The public is invited to skip the gym and take in some light exercise while searching for winter wildlife around the marsh. Limited snowshoes are available and the hike is free.

Nature walks are also on the docket each Wednesday starting next week and continuing through March 13. Come to the center for relaxed, guided walks from 10-11:30 a.m. Explore marsh flora and fauna while taking in the stunning views. The length and difficulty of the walks will depend on participants and weather conditions. Snowshoes are provided.

Children will get a chance to be awed by Mother Nature by participating in the center’s “Back to Basics” series, which starts next week. Geared toward home schools and child cares, the series runs from 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, starting next week and running through March 26.

Youth will learn about wildlife and experience the outdoors while completing hands-on activities. Series topics include snow forts, building a snow mammal, tracking, a scavenger hunt, geocaching and more. The series is free and will take place during spring break.

One of the most anticipated events at the center each January is the Horicon Marsh Candlelight Hike, now in its ninth year. A roaring bonfire, roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate and refreshments await everyone Jan. 19 from 5-9 p.m.

Those searching for nighttime adventure will find almost two miles of candlelit trails at the event. Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center will line the trails with candle-powered luminaries to welcome and guide hikers. Volunteers will be on hand for assistance and information. There are two trails available; one is 1½ miles and the “family loop” is a little over a third of a mile.

Northern Cross Science Foundation astronomers will be on site to help visitors view the night sky through telescopes and members of the Horicon Marsh Bird Club will be on the trails conducting short owl talks and calling for owls.

Admission to the candlelight hike is free, but donations of canned goods and hats/mittens will be collected for local food pantries and schools.

Parking at the center for the event will be limited to vehicles with handicapped plates or placards and families with small children. Free shuttles from either Theiler Park, N8282 County Road TW, Mayville or the Bethesda parking lot, 620 Washington St, Horicon will be available from 4:30-9:30 p.m.

Leashed pets are allowed on the trails but not in the building or shuttles.

All events are subject to change. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is located at N7725 Hwy 28, Horicon. For more information, visit horiconmarsh.org.

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