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Wildlife Management

New Munster 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.

New Munster Wildlife Area

New Munster Wildlife Area is a 1226-acre property located in western Kenosha County. The property can be found approximately 6 miles west of the Village of Paddock Lake off of HWY KD.

In 1947, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission created the New Munster Wildlife Area. The wildlife area was established to provide important pheasant and upland game habitat in a rapidly developing area of Wisconsin. In the project protects water quality, improves fish habitat, and provides public access for fishing, hunting, and trapping. The New Munster Bog Island State Natural Area is found within the boundaries of the property and was one of the early state natural areas, designated in 1967.

A 177.4 acre DOT wetland mitigation site was added to the property in 2008, encompassing 3050 linear feet of bank frontage on both sides of the Fox River. The addition of the DOT property to the wildlife area added riverine and emergent/open water wetland habitat to an area that was predominately oak woodland, lowland woodland, shallow marsh, grassland, and agricultural fields to create a larger contiguous block of habitat. Two perennial streams, Palmer Creek and New Munster creek, flow through this property into the Fox River. Palmer Creek, a Class III trout stream, runs through the northwest part of the property, provides canoeing opportunities, and is stocked with brown and rainbow trout in portions of the wildlife area.

New Munster State Wildlife Area is featured in the Lake Michigan Region of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail [PDF exit DNR] as a property with a mix of habitats that provides opportunities to see great horned, long-eared, and short-eared owls, golden crowned kinglets, brown creepers, and nuthatches.


The wildlife area is managed to provide opportunities for public hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor recreation while protecting the qualities of the unique native communities and associated species found on the property. Shelterwood harvests are used to maintain the oak types. The shrub-carr, emergent wetland and grassland types are maintained with brushing, mowing and prescribed fire. Populations of invasive species are controlled or eliminated by cutting, pulling, burning, herbicide treatment and/or bio-control.

Interim Forest Management Plan (2014) [PDF]


The New Munster Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Canoeing
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Fishing - Palmer Creek class III trout stream
  • Hiking
  • Hunting - especially noted for deer, small game, waterfowl, turkey and pheasant (2 p.m. closing)
  • 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