Birding & Wildlife
Green Lake Country is blessed by its wealth of habitats for birds and wildlife, and many good locations have trails and are open to public access. Depending on the time of year, some places will vary considerably in what birdlife might be present, while other sites might provide great opportunities to find birds during any season. In general, the best time of year for birdwatching is spring and summer – especially April through July – when individuals are engaged in territorial displays or breeding activities.
Starting relatively close to the lake, there are a number of Green Lake Conservancy sites that can provide a good birdwatching experience. One of the best is Sunnyside Conservancy, which is located along Silver Creek Inlet, and contains several lagoons and about two miles of trails (see visitors guide map, page 17, C6). Other conservancy hiking areas include Hammer’s Trail and Winnebago Trail, both of which are located within the Green Lake Conference Center and overlook the lake (see visitors guide map, page 17, D4).
Norwegian Bay Conservancy (D4) is another excellent place to go, and has a long boardwalk that extends through a marsh to the shore of Norwegian Bay. More information about these and other conservancy sites can be found at the Green Lake Conservancy.
Just a little further from the lake are two very large state-owned properties that can provide wonderful birding opportunities. One is the White River Wildlife Area (located just north of Princeton and west of Berlin – see visitors guide map, page 17, B3), and the other is Grand River Wildlife Area (just west of Kingston – F1). Another less explored option is the Snake Creek Wetlands Trail, which follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way between Swamp Road and St. Marie Road (C4). Find the map here.
Written by Tom Schultz, local artist, bird & nature enthusiast. His illustrations can be found in the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America and A Field Guide to Warblers of North America.