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Wildlife Management

Greenwood 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.

Greenwood Wildlife Area

Located in west central Waushara County, 3 miles northeast of Coloma and 1 mile southeast of Hancock, the Greenwood Wildlife Area lies on the edge of a pitted outwash plain creating a flat sandy topography and a wooded hilly moraine comprised mostly of oak.

Historically the plains area was in agricultural practices and an important wintering area for a local population of giant Canada geese. In 1938 it was closed to goose hunting for the next ten years by a designation as a state refuge. During this time the flock increased dramatically from several hundred geese to several thousand, hunting pressure adjacent increased accordingly. Acquisition of the area began in 1949 and was completed by 1955. Presently the state owns 1438 acres.



Prior to state ownership, the state leased some of the present ownership and about 10 acres were purchased annually for goose feed. From 1949 - 1953 several hundred acres of state land were cropped by the UW Experimental Station at Hancock. The Department of Natural Resources took over the entire farming operation in 1954 and initiated an SCS farm plan to control wind erosion and increase soil fertility. Farm operations had been conducted by area farmers since 1960 under sharecrop agreements directed by the property manager. As the giant Canada goose population increased statewide, it became apparent the refuge was no longer needed. In 1994, with financial support from the "Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation" and Turkey Stamp Funding an effort to restore the area to native prairie and savanna began. To date, approximately 100 acres remain in crops, while the remaining +/- 500 acres have been restored to prairie. This provides important habitat for grassland dependant species. The refuge status has been eliminated and hunting is open during the appropriate seasons.

Management objective

Timber management has always occurred on the moraine portion and continues to this day. About half of Greenwood's vegetative cover is forested. Within the properties heavily forested areas there has been an ongoing study of oak regeneration. Another portion surrounded by the prairie has been slowly converted into savanna type habitat to coincide with the grassland management.

Recognition of the diversity of glacial formations within the wildlife area led to the designation of an alternate route of the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail. The trail traverses along the southern and eastern borders, with a new segment through the grasslands. Additionally, a snowmobile trail exists through a portion of the southern property. There is ample parking on all sides of the wildlife area.

Interim Forest Management Plan (2016) [PDF]


The Greenwood Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting (please note there is an adjacent Ice Age Trail parcel to the south that has different hunting rules)
  • Snowmobiling (designated trails only)
  • 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: Wednesday May 06 2020