Spring Nature Happenings

The park is coming alive! Birds are arriving almost everyday. 

Check out the lake and wildlife refuge for a huge variety of ducks plus cranes, geese, red-winged blackbirds and swans.  Meadowlarks, bluebirds and song sparrows are singing away.  On the sunniest days the chorus frogs are calling.  

Plants are starting to grow–hike the blue trail to check out the amazing display of spring wildflowers beginning in early April.  

Don’t forget to check out the calendar of events for all the great programs coming up! 

Park updates 

  • Sunrise Campground is open but the water will not be turned on until mid-April.  
  • Firewood is always available in the visitor center parking lot. 
  • The ATV and dirt bike trails are currently closed due to wet conditions. 
  • The Entrance Station is open for business on weekends 8am-4pm.  
  • The Visitor Center is open Monday and Wednesday 11am-3pm to check out exhibits and for park business. 
  • Hiking trails are open but there are wet sections.  
  • Rocketry events are happening almost every weekend, come check out the action.  

Thanks to the David and Joyce Weizenicker Fund for State Parks! 

The BNA has received a grant that will fund repairs and regrading of the nature trail that is located directly behind the visitor center.  Work is due to start in May.

Spring Storywalk

You are invited to head to the park to explore the newly installed spring STORYWALK®. “Our Yard is Full of Birds” by Anne Rockwell is the featured book.   As you read, you’ll learn about birds and their habits.  Additional activities like scavenger hunts, art projects, snack ideas, and action play are also included to help you explore nature and learn more about birds. Bring your phone or camera to take photos of the extra activities that are posted as copies cannot be provided. 

The book is aimed primarily at a 3-8-year-old audience but the whole family can enjoy the hike. The .7-mile trail begins right behind the Visitor Center at Richard Bong State Recreation Area and has some grade to it and there are also several washouts so do watch your step.  Dogs are not allowed on this trail.  The trail passes the new Nature Explore Classroom, which the whole family can experience after the STORYWALK®. 

There is no cost to hike but you will need to have or purchase a state park vehicle admission sticker.  The park is open 6am-11pm. For questions call (262) 878-5601.

The Bong Naturalist Association is a group of volunteers promoting conservation, education and recreation at Richard Bong State Recreation Area.