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For information on the wildlife areas, contact:
Wildlife Management

Shaw Marsh Wildlife Area

COVID-19 Update

On Friday, May 1 and at the direction of Gov. Evers, the department reopened state parks, forests and sites within the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway with special conditions. Four State Natural Areas remain closed: Parfrey's Glen, Pewits Nest, Gibraltar Rock and Dells of the Wisconsin River. All Wildlife Areas and Fisheries Areas are open. For more information, please visit the DNR's COVID-19 information webpage for the full list of conditions, including hours of operation, admission fees and more.

Shaw Marsh Wildlife Area is 900 acres of state owned lands comprised mostly of wetlands with scattered upland prairie. The marsh is a shallow wetland basin that was formed by the Wisconsin Glacier. Shaw Brook runs from north to south through the heart of the wetland where it eventually joins the Beaver Dam River. The marsh is part of the Crawfish-Rock River system and is located about one mile south of the City of Beaver Dam. Find it from Beaver Dam: east 1 mile on Highway 33, then south 2 miles on South Crystal Lake Road, then west on Parker Road. There are access points with parking areas along the Parker Road, Shaw Hill Road, County Road S, Blackbird Road and South Crystal Lake Road.


Historically, it was in the late 1950s that Shaw Marsh was considered for development as a State Wildlife Area. In 1960 the first parcel was purchased from a private landowner. The goal was to protect the wetland for wildlife and provide a public hunting area.

Currently the property is managed for day use only. Departmental staff maintain the property by using a number of techniques including periodic prescribed burns to rejuvenate the uplands and wetlands, brush removal and removal of invasive species. During the fall hunting season Shaw Marsh is stocked with pheasants from the state game farm to provide the public with additional hunting opportunities. Also, Learn to Hunt Pheasant programs have taken place at this property with much success.


The Shaw Marsh Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Hunting - especially noted for pheasant, deer, turkey and waterfowl
  • 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: Wednesday May 06 2020