Crex Realty

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Welcome to
Crex Meadows
30,098 acres of
Grantsburg's back yard!

The Crex at a glance. Map of Crex Meadows
and several panorama photos.
Panorama image

Summer in the Crex!

If you like to be amongst nature then Crex Meadows, Burnett County Wisconsin is the place for you! There of miles of winding roads to give you a close up view as you drive through the heart of this massive wild land.
Just a few
miles North of

Take either
highway 87,
or highway 70
to Grantsburg.
Then just follow
the signs
to the
Crex Meadows.

Over 85% of the operating budget for Crex Meadows is supplied through hunting license fees and Pittman-Robertson (PR) funds. PR funds are generated by an 11% excise tax levied on all hunting equipment sold throughout the country. This tax was originally proposed by sportsmen in 1937 as a means of supporting wildlife habitat acquisition and improvement. Since its creation, over $1.5 million in PR funds have been spent in developing and managing habitat on Crex.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.


Wildlife management efforts have resulted in extensive breeding populations of mallard, blue- and green-winged teal, and ring-necked ducks. Sharp-tailed grouse populations have increased considerably and a population of prairie chickens, which formerly inhabited these areas in large numbers, has been successfully reestablished.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
A captive flock of giant Canada geese was established in 1957 and offspring from this flock now constitute a sizeable free-flying breeding flock. Sandhill cranes have reoccupied the area which they vacated in 1932. Tremendous increases have also been recorded in the deer and forbearer populations.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
A 2,399-acre refuge is centrally located within the wildlife area. Development on this refuge includes nearly 300 acres of agricultural fields to provide food for migrant waterfowl con­centrations, which have numbered in excess of 20,000 ducks and geese in recent years. The ref­uge water supply has been improved by ditching from an impoundment (North Fork Flowage) and the installation of a diversion pump. Use of the area by waterfowl has been enhanced by the assurance of an adequate water supply.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Crex Meadows annually attracts thousands of visitors. The Twin Cities are only 90 minutes away via Interstate I-35, and it is from this metropolitan area that most of our spectators come. Waterfowl hunting makes up the largest single hunting group, but deer hunting attracts a large number of archers and gun hunters.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
A cooperative research study of ecological changes, conducted by the University of Wisconsin, revealed 212 species of true prairie plants. As a result of this study a 79 acre "prairie scientific area" has been established. Professional botanists and wild flower enthusiasts alike find much to interest them on the tall grass and brush prairies of Crex.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.

There is something
for everyone
in the
Crex Meadows!

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.


The Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is located in west central Burnett County, one-half mile north of the Village of Grantsburg. Approaches to the area may be made via all-weather, hard­surfaced roads. County Trunk "F" borders on the west and north portions of the area and County Trunk "D" on the south portion. Grantsburg is accessible via State Highways 70 and 48­87. Project headquarters are located at the southwest corner of Crex, just east of the junc­tions of County Trunks "D" and "F".

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.


The Crex Meadows marshes were formed in the remains of old Glacial Lake Grantsburg. A lobe of the last advance of the Wisconsin glacier blocked the St. Croix River, forming the lake. When the ice dam melted a series of shallow lakes remained, eventually forming the marshes as we know them today. Prior to use by white settlers, the Fox, Dakota and Chippewa Indians used Crex extensively. Ducks, geese and sandhill cranes nested here and were hunted. Cranberries, blueberries and other wild fruits were common. Much of the upland was tall grass prairie.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Fires controlled natural plant successions. These fires were caused by natural elements (lightening) and by the Indians. Numerous Indian battles are said to have occurred here during the 1600's, but by the time of the arrival of the white man the Chippewa Indians ruled the area. White settlement occurred during the middle 1800's and early drainage attempts on the marsh occurred shortly thereafter. Large scale commercial drainage was initiated about 1890. These efforts were successful enough to upset the entire ecological pattern of the marsh from a productive wet prairie to a dry sedge marsh. Some agriculture followed, and marsh hay was harvested on much of the area. Nesting and migrant waterfowl use declined. Prairie chickens thrived as a result of these changes.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
In 1912, during the peak of the wire grass succession, the area was purchased by the Crex Carpet Company, an eastern corporation engaged in the manufacture of grass rugs. Several large camps were operated on the area by the Crex Carpet Company and the harvested grass was manufactured into carpets and other grass products in St. Paul. Market competition, primarily the development of linoleum floor covering and ecological changes on the marsh forced bankruptcy of the Crex Carpet Company. During the great depression of the 1930's and the accompanying drought of that period, further drainage and agricultural attempts failed. Wildfires were numerous in the 1930's which were destructive to peat deposits. By 1940, twothirds of the land was tax delinquent.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.

Sometimes, the Visitors are the ones being watched!

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Naturalists, students, photographers, bird­ers and sightseers enjoy the spring and fall bird migrations. Large tour groups are common. Twohundred and fortyfive species of birds have been observed on Crex. Two great blue heron rookeries, nesting Canada geese, ospreys, sandhill cranes and several colonies of yellow­headed blackbirds are among the summer residents. Prairie mammals include the pocket gopher, Franklin's ground squirrel and the badger. Uncommon reptiles are the Blanding's turtle and the hognosed snake. During September, October and November the sight of many thousands of ducks and geese may be enjoyed. Both the bald and golden eagle are relatively common visitors to the area.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.


The Crex Meadows Wildlife Area encompasses 30,098 acres. Eighty-nine percent of the area has been purchased to date.

Except for the refuge (2,399 acres), the entire area is open to public hunting and trapping. The objective of development has been to restore prairie waterfowl and prairie grouse habitat.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Sixty-seven percent of the area has been developed, and today 18 miles of dikes flood 11,000 acres of marsh. Islands and marsh edges have been cleared to provide grassy areas for nesting waterfowl. Extensive prescribed burning is conducted annually to improve and maintain prairie habitat. Large areas of natural tall grass prairie have resulted.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Crex has an excellent road system, well marked, with informational and directional signs. Wildlife observation areas have been con­structed for public use and picnic and rest area facilities have been provided in Rest Area "C".

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.


The thirty years of effort thus far toward the restoration of Crex is just a beginning. The "new" Crex is in its infancy. More dikes and water control structures are needed; more clearing and more prescribed burning is necessary to restore and establish the prairie habitat to its full productiveness. Extensive waterfowl use has already resulted. Bands, attached to the birds, show that Crex has made a valuable contribution to the Mississippi flyway waterfowl populations. Future management programs, coupled with development of nearby marshes (Fish Lake Wildlife Area and Amsterdam Slough Wildlife Area), will further enhance waterfowl production, including ducks, geese and sandhill cranes.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Although much remains to be done, Crex visitors are already enjoying the results of a planned program of restoration. Future generations can expect even greater dividends as development restores more of the marsh to its original productiveness.

When the site seeing is done, Hang around to enjoy the picture perfect wisconsin sunset.

Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin. Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin. Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin. Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin. Crex Meadows: Burnett County, Wisconsin.
This page is hosted by:
Crex Realty, Inc
Jct. Hwy 48 & 70
Grantsburg, Wisconsin
Phone:(715) 463-5757
Fax:(715) 463-5930

All comments are welcome!
Please E-mail us at:

Thank-you for visiting!,
Crex Realty, Inc. Web Masters,
Dean & Ramona Moody.

Most of the text on this page came from a
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Brochure.
Reference: brochure 'PUBL-WM-101 89REV.
This brochure should be available at any public information
display in the Grantsburg Area.