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Wildlife Management

Balsam Branch Wildlife Area

COVID-19 Update

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, please visit our COVID-19 information webpage for the most up to date information on property access, building closures, camping cancellations, event cancellations and more.

Balsam Branch Wildlife Area is a 180-acre property located in Polk County. The property consists of marsh, pond, prairie grass fields, stream bottom, upland and lowland forest.

Find it by following Highway 8 east of St Croix Falls for 5 1/2 miles. Turn south on Highway 65 and go 1 1/2 miles. Turn east on 115th Avenue and go one mile. Turn south on 150th St and go 1/2 mile to parking area. There is also a parking area on the south end of the property from Highway C.


The property was donated to the State of Wisconsin in 1967 by the American Game Association of New York. The project was developed to protect a very nice small, unnamed lake and to provide wildlife habitat for hunting and enjoyment in Polk County. A large rock with a plaque on it recognizing this donation can be found on the south end of the parking lot on the north end of the property.

Today, prescribed burns are used to maintain the prairie grass fields.

Interim Forest Management Plan (1985) [PDF]


The Balsam Branch Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting - especially noted for waterfowl, deer, ruffed grouse, squirrels and pheasants
  • 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.

Useful links
Last revised: Tuesday March 24 2020