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Contact(s): Ryan Haffele, Sandhill Wildlife Area property supervisor, 715-884-6332
May 7, 2019

BABCOCK - The Trumpeter Trail, a 14-mile auto tour route winding through Sandhill Wildlife Area, is now open to the public, offering a chance to view the property's abundant wildlife, including a herd of American bison. The auto tour route is open sunrise to sunset through the end of October and promises scenic views and side excursions to explore the property's hiking trails and climb its three observation towers.

The trail is free to enter, but donations are appreciated. Proceeds support wildlife and habitat management on the property. A donation box is located at the chalet near the Sandhill entrance gate.

The first observation tower on the Trumpeter Trail overlooks a fenced-in, 260-acre bison range home to a small herd of bison - Photo credit: DNR
The first observation tower on the Trumpeter Trail overlooks a fenced-in, 260-acre bison range home to a small herd of bisonPhoto credit: DNR

Due to damage from high water, this year's route will feature a detour through the center of the property while repairs are completed. Maps depicting the detour route are available at the trail entrance kiosk. Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of June.

Despite the detour, the public can still enjoy the auto tour route looking for white-tailed deer, bison, waterfowl, songbirds, coyotes, otter, beaver, and other wildlife inhabiting the Sandhill Wildlife Area. Access to our three observation towers will still be available, providing breathtaking views of the area.

"The public can still access the popular features of the auto tour route, including searching for the bison herd, climbing North Bluff Tower and the various hiking trails on the property," said property supervisor Ryan Haffele.

Sandhill Wildlife Area covers more than 9,000 acres and was named for a series of gently rolling sandy ridges that crisscross the property. The property lies within the bed of ancient Glacial Lake Wisconsin, an expansive region of flat, marshy land interspersed with forests. Sandhill features low, sandy uplands of oak, aspen and jack pine forests, large marshes and many flowages. A small herd of American bison, white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, Canada geese, ducks, loons, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, shorebirds, songbirds, hawks, owls and furbearers find their home here at Sandhill.

Find more information on the Observation Towers and Trumpeter Trail by searching the DNR website,, for keyword "Sandhill."

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 07, 2019

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