THINGS TO DO #1
The area surrounding Princeton is blessed by its wealth of habitats for birds and wildlife. Many locations for bird watching in Princeton have trails and are open to public access.
Princeton, designated as a “Bird City” offers a wonderful and robust birding experience. The bird species you see may be change depending on the time of year, however some sites might provide great opportunities to find birds during any season. In general, the best time of year for bird watching is spring and summer, especially April through July. During those months, many bird species are engaged in territorial displays or breeding activities.
Within the City Limits
Stroll along the Black Bridge Nature Trail between County Road D (on the north side of Princeton) and North Farmer St.. Here you can enjoy all types of wildlife including Whooping Cranes posing in the shallow waters of the marsh. Put-in a canoe or kayak in the Fox River at Hiestand Parks boat launch (on Mechanic St. off of Hwy 23) and silently mingle with the abundance of wildlife there. You might see eagles, hawks, Blue Herron and Sandhill Cranes.
State Owned Properties
Two very large state-owned properties that can provide wonderful birding opportunities are the White River Wildlife Area (located just north of Princeton) and the Grand River Wildlife Area (just west of Kingston). The White River Wildlife Area is the summer home and migrating training grounds for the endangered Whooping crane.
Green Lake Conservancy Properties
There are a number of Green Lake Conservancy sites that can provide a good bird watching experience as well. One of the best is Sunnyside Conservancy. It is located along Silver Creek Inlet, and contains several lagoons and about two miles of trails. Other conservancy hiking areas include Hammer’s Trail and Winnebago Trail, both of which are located within the Green Lake Conference Center and overlook the lake. Norwegian Bay Conservancy is another excellent place to go. It has a long boardwalk that extends through a marsh to the shore of Norwegian Bay. More information about these and other conservancy sites can be found at the website: greenlakeconservancy.org
Another option is the Snake Creek Wetlands Trail, which follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way between Swamp Road and St. Marie Road. All of these sites are marked on the map link below.