In Madison's Backyard, a "living museum" of native plant and animal communities
This preserve is part of one of Wisconsin's most studied and valued water habitats.
The marshy terrain provides good habitat for many species of waterfowl and other migrating birds. The wetlands are fed by numerous small springs that provide a continuous flow of clear, cool water. (One of the most impressive of these is Bogholt Deep Spring, which originates in an underground cave.)
Just a short drive (about 4 miles) south from Madison
Open year round, dawn to dusk
No established hiking trails exist; the best way to view the preserve is from a canoe. You can put in from the boat launch area at Goodland County Park (see Directions). The park does not offer canoe rentals.
The Waubesa Wetlands Preserve contains high-quality, spring-fed wetlands. Close to Madison, it is used extensively for research and education.
Since 1974, the Conservancy has protected 232 acres.
To protect the integrity of these wetlands, the Conservancy continues to work closely in a conservation partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Natural Areas Program. Volunteers are helping to restore the wetlands and surrounding woodlands by removing invasive species and conducting controlled burns.
Though difficult to traverse for humans, the marshy terrain is an important nesting area for many species of waterfowl and other migrating birds, including the following:
The waters of the preserve also provide a major fish spawning area, especially for northern pike (early to mid-spring).
Please see "Preserve Visitation Guidelines"
Directions to Goodland County Park (Canoe Launch)