We are the Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. We are a non-profit organization that serves to conserve & enhance the natural and cultural resources, rural character and scenic beauty of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge and to connect people to these resources.
The Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was first established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012. The Refuge is located in McHenry County, IL and Walworth County, WI. The boundary employs a Cores and Corridors concept for wildlife preservation with a focus on migratory and grassland birds.
Exercise, fresh air, good company, and improving the quality of Hackmatack lands . . .it’s a great combination! See our Stewardship page for more information.
There are many ways to Support the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. Find our more about how you can be involved in our mission to conserve.
We are celebrating 10 years in 2022!
On November 6, 2012 Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was officially established. So we will be celebrating Hackmatack NWR this whole year, leading up to its 10th birthday in the fall. Stay tuned as we add special events and special features to our website and social media to mark the first decade of the national wildlife refuge that the Friends helped bring to our own backyard!
Sunday, October 9, 2022
7 AM – 5 PM
Lost Valley Visitor Center
(back patio & marsh overlook)
Glacial Park, Ringwood, IL
Novice through Expert Birders are Welcome! Join our experienced birders to share spotting scopes, watch, learn, and tally the birds as they are identified.
Tue., Nov. 8, 2022
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
401 Country Club Rd.
Crystal Lake, IL
Friends, mark your calendars! Preparation is underway for an amazing 10-year celebration of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.
Our event will be held at The Dole in Crystal Lake . . .
Date Extended: Accepting Submissions until noon, Oct. 17, 2022
Artist from ages 4 – adult are welcome to create artwork that reflects the NATURE of our area. All media are accepted, including written work and poetry. The show will be on display at the Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake, IL.
How to Visit Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
We are a different kind of refuge, with a Cores & Corridors Concept for growing. Building this type of refuge takes time. It will take many patient years to grow, and will consist of three types of protected land that form a “donut” shape in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.
Together, Refuge Core Areas + Local Conservation Lands + Privately Owned Protected Lands will create the unique Hackmatck National Wildlife Refuge, which will provide protected space for migratory and grassland birds, native plants, and native animal species. Surrounding the refuge boundary lies the Greater Hackmatack Ecosystem, a network of areas on which conservation work is occurring, just outside the actual boundaries of the Refuge.
Areas of the Refuge Open to the Public
Goose Pond Corridor:
86 acres of high-quality woodland that explodes with wildflowers in the spring, also containing re-created wetlands, and fields of prairie on previously cultivated land
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, N541 Co. Trunk H, Genoa City, WI.
Directions: From Genoa City, WI, take Highway H north 1/2 mi. out of town. There is a small parking lot. Look for the USFWS sign: Goose Pond Corridor
Trails: There are mowed trails through the woods and along the edge of the prairie.
Tamarack Core Area:
11 acres induding a small woodland, opening up to a peaceful view of fields & wetland
Located west of the intersection of Hunter Dr. & Highway 12, Richmond, IL.
Directions: Park in public parking off Broadway St. in downtown Richmond and walk or bike the Prairie Path Trail going south, to get to this 11-acre tract. No parking on site. Look for the USFWS sign: Tamarack Core
Trails: There are bike racks and picnic tables available, and an accessible path to an overlook of the wetland area. Visitors are permitted to explore the property off-trail. The Prairie Path Trail runs through this property. Prairie Path Trail Map: https://ipp.org/trail-map/
Queen Anne Prairie Corridor:
60 acres of land bisected by the Nippersink Creek; previously cultivated land which has been restored to prairie
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, Woodstock, IL.
Directions: Located off Route 47 between Hebron and Woodstock, southwest of the intersection of
Rte. 47 & Thayer Rd. Look for a parking area on the west side of
Rte. 47, approx. 0.4 miles south of Thayer Rd. USFWS sign: Queen Anne Prairie Core
Trails: There are no trails at this site. Visitors are permitted to explore the 60-acre property.