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Wildlife Management

Lima Marsh Wildlife Area

Lima Marsh Wildlife Area is 2,048-acres state-owned (2704-acre goal), plus 466 acres leased for public hunting. It is located northeast of Milton, in Rock County Town of Lima. Access from Willow Road, one-half mile west of Lima Center. The property consists of emergent marsh, restored prairie, remnant tamarack swamp.

Lima Marsh Wildlife Area was begun in 1956 as a Federal Aid in Fish and Wildlife Restoration project, for the purpose of protecting wetlands, preserving pheasant and waterfowl habitat, and to provide public hunting. In 1988, the enclosed Lima Bog was designated as a State Natural Area to recognize and protect it as one of the largest bogs in south central Wisconsin.


Lima Marsh Wildlife Area consists primarily of wetlands, typically shallow marshes dominated by cattails with scattered areas of deep-water marshes that contain patches of open water. There are several areas with shrub-carr. One unique part of the property is a southern tamarack swamp (which is acidic) surrounding a small alkaline pond. The 124-acre area harbors plants more typical of northern bogs and is designated the Lima Bog State Natural Area. There are scattered uplands on the property, comprised of grasslands, a savannah, scattered woodlots, and agricultural land. These uplands are relatively small areas, the largest being only 160 acres, and they are not inter-connected.

General management objectives for the property include:

  • Managing wetlands on lands classified as habitat management areas to maximize wildlife benefits; particularly, habitat for waterfowl nesting, brood rearing, migratory stopover, grassland birds and shorebirds.
  • Maintaining and enhancing the quality and extent of wetlands, with particular emphasis placed on wet and wet-mesic prairie, sedge meadow, emergent marsh and southern tamarack swamp.
  • Providing the largest practicable blocks of grassland and forest habitats.
  • Protecting and enhancing populations of threatened and endangered species and species of greatest conservation need.

The Glacial Heritage Area master plan was completed in 2011 and guides the long term management of this property. Progress toward achieving the goals of the master plan are tracked through annual monitoring reports.


The Lima Marsh Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Biking
  • Birding - look for northern species such as black-throated green warbler and white-throated sparrow during summer.
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting - especially noted for waterfowl, deer and stocked pheasants
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing

Download [PDF] a map of this property.

If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.

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Last revised: Tuesday October 30 2018