Marsh Haven Nature Center

The Marsh Haven Nature Center is located on Highway 49, on the edge of the northwest corner of Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, between the marsh, and the Wild Goose State Recreational Trail, about 3 1/2 miles east of Waupun, Wisconsin. It is not run by the Wisconsin DNR, or the USFWS. It is a non-profit organization, founded in 1984, designed, built, operated, and maintained, by 160 volunteers, (not including Boy Scouts, and other organizations) and over 62,000 volunteer hours worked since 1992, when they first started keeping records.

The founder and former director of the MHNC is Lawrence Vine, a retired DNR Wildlife Research Technician, and master bird bander. The idea of a nature center being built was first discussed around his kitchen table in 1984 with a small group of talented, and dedicated volunteers. In the Fall of 2011, Larry retired as the full time director of the nature center, and the position was handed over to Renee Wahlen Tillema. Since then, Renee has taken the Marsh Haven Nature Center to new heights, including a new, well maintained website, at, and an endless schedule of programs and events, that can be followed on the "calendar" link on the website.

Hours of Operation (subject to availabilaty of volunteers):
Weekdays 12 - 4
Weekends 9-5


Going through the front door, you will enter into the gift shop. Lots of great gift ideas, whether it be for friends and loved ones, or to treat youself to something that will brighten up your home or office. There are more items for sale beyond the giftshop, in some of the exhibit rooms.
From the giftshop, you can head toward the back of the building, to the left or right, eventually making a circle back to the giftshop. Along the way you will see many exhibits and displays, including (but by no means, limited to) Native American, and wildlife exhibits, framed photographs, about 70 mounted birds and animals, etc, etc, etc.....

This photo shows most of the giftshop, but not all of it.

The above photos are examples of what you might see at the feeding stations through the windows on either side of the gift shop, while the photos below are examples of what you might see along the trails outside.

A Native American exhibit.

An early settler exhibit.

A typical scene throughout the nature center... An endless supply of mounted birds and animals, photographs, and interesting information.

Besides what is for sale in the gift shop, there are several exhibits of items to view and purchase, from local artists, craftsmen, and photographers, like this exhibit (above and below), from local wildlife and nature photographer, Jeff Raflik, from Waupun.


The Marsh Haven Nature Center consists of 46 acres, containing a wetland area, including a small lake, a prairie area, and a wooded area, with a network of trails going through each type of habitat, as shown on the trail map below.

Looking east, from the parking lot, and main building, this well groomed prairie trail, eventually continues... the Walters Woodland Trail (insect repellant recommended). Another well groomed trail, that leads to...

...the Lee Gould Memorial Observation Tower, overlooking the marsh, or, if you look back toward the woods, an eye level view of the birds in the trees.
For more information on the tower, click HERE