Online Staff Report
HORICON, Wis. — Winter adventure awaits your family Jan. 19 in and around the Horicon Marsh, one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States.
Whether you’re looking to build a snowman, savor a steaming hot bowl of chili or snowshoe candlelight trails of the beautiful Horicon Marsh, experiences of the season can be yours in Dodge County, about 2 hours northeast of Rockford.
Start your day at Satterlee House in Horicon, Wis. Enter your best chili recipe into the chili cook-off at the Satterlee Clark House from 1 to 3 p.m. Your family can also participate in their snowman-building contest. Afterward, head over to Discher Park to ice skate starting at 3 p.m. There will be free hot chocolate available and bowls of chili for $1. Warm up at one of the local restaurants for supper, and then bundle up for the Third Annual Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike on the trails of the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and activities at the Education Center.
From 6 to 9 p.m., outdoor enthusiasts can snowshoe or hike by candlelight the Horicon Marsh. The trails will be lined with candle-powered luminaries to guide hikers and snowshoers. New this year, there will be two trails available. One trail is 1.5 miles long and another “Family Loop” is only .36 miles.
Snowshoes are available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis at no charge. Volunteers will be on the trails to assist. There must be at least 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ground to loan out snowshoes.
Horicon Marsh Bird Club members will be on the trail conducting short owl talks and calling for owls. Pets on a leash are allowed on the trails, but not in the building. After a trek on the trail, enjoy a bonfire and warm up with refreshments inside.
Horicon Marsh International Education Center will also be open for guests to step inside and view the 20-minute “Horicon Marsh Story” and visit the Flyway Gift Shop. Kids can make a fun craft or explore winter hibernation in the Children’s Discovery Area.
The Northern Cross Science Foundation astronomers will be on hand to help you view the night sky through their giant telescopes. Learn about “Winter Adaptations” in an indoor classroom.
Also new this year is a mitten campaign and food drive. Mittens and gloves are being collected to be donated to local grade schools, and non-perishable food will be given to local food pantries. Collection bins will be on the upper level of the Education Center.
The Education Center is at N7725 Hwy. 28 between Horicon and Mayville. For more about the candlelight snowshoe/hike at Horicon Marsh, visit www.horiconmarsh.org or call (920) 387-7893.
At more than 33,000 acres, the Horicon Marsh is one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States. The marsh provides habitat for endangered species and is a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating ducks and Canada geese. It is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance, as both Globally and State Important Bird Areas and is also a unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve.
Posted Jan. 16, 2013