Best Place to Explore Nature: Richard Bong State Recreation Area

LocationRichard Bong State Recreation Area recently was voted as the Best place to Explore Nature in Wisconsin State Parks. Voters, made up of members of the Friends of Wisconsin Stand Parks, awarded the Gold Seal Awards to ten Wisconsin State Parks, trails and forests.  The awards were presented during the October Annual Banquet held at Horicon Marsh.
Richard Bong State Recreation Area is an ideal natural classroom.  There are several habitats to explore on its 4,515 acres including wetlands, grasslands and forests. We hope the park will be a place to bring your class to explore and enjoy.
The knee High Naturalist program is a year-round nature story time for 3-5 year olds with loads of hands-on activities and outdoor exploring. Adults will learn alongside children and you can meet other families interested in the outdoors.
The program meets the second Thursday of each month except December from 10:00am-11:30am at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. Siblings are welcome.


Once designated to be a jet fighter base, Richard Bong State Recreation Area is fittingly named after Major Richard I. Bong, a Poplar, WI native who was America's leading air ace during World War II. The air base was abandoned three days before concrete was to be poured for a 12,500-foot runway. Local citizens had the foresight to protect this open space for future generations.
Richard Bong offers an area where visitors may fly model airplanes, rockets, hang gliders and hot air balloons. Richard Bong also has space to train both hunting and sled dogs, train falcons, ride all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and horses on trails and hunt in season. All such activities take place in the Special Use Zone (SUZ) or managed hunt areas.
Activities in the SUZ area must be managed to insure compatibility. Please call ahead at least a week before your planned event for permission to use the area. Check with management if you are planning an activity (rocket launches, free flight airplanes, rubber-band airplanes, etc.) in the special use zone.
Hikers have more than 16 miles of trails to explore. Dogs must be on a leash eight feet or shorter at all times.
Friends of Richard Bong State Recreation Area